Storm bounce back against Cowboys

Melbourne showed they were serious NRL finals contenders by knocking over competition heavyweights North Queensland 14-6 on Saturday night at AAMI Park.

After turning in their worst performance of the season to lose to battlers Newcastle at the same venue on Monday night, the Storm rebounded with an impressive display that kept alive their slim top-four hopes.

Melbourne moved up to fifth on the back of the win, while the Cowboys remained third.

Earlier, Cronulla climbed into the top four after sneaking away from Parramatta with a 35-28 win.

The Sharks made the early running, scoring the game’s first two tries and eventually taking a 20-10 lead into the break, but tries to Daniel Alvaro, Reece Robinson and Isaac de Gois saw the Eels leading 28-22 heading into the final 10 minutes.

But the Sharks bit back through Sosaia Feki in the 71st minute and Michael Gordon levelled the scores with his conversion.

Winger Valentine Holmes gave the visitors a one-point lead five minutes later before the Eels threw the ball away while looking to go the the length of the field to score and Michael Ennis crossed to put the result beyond doubt.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs defeated the Knights 20-18 at Hunter Stadium but lost half-back Trent Hodkinson left the field with suspected ligament damage to his wrist.

Newcastle-bound Hodkinson is the latest high-profile player in danger of missing out on the NRL finals series after he left the field after injuring his wrist while setting up Tim Lafai’s try in the 24th minute.

Tariq Sims put the Knights in front with a try after 12 minutes, but the Bulldogs hit back with three tries before the break courtesy of Curtis Rona, Lafai and Damien Cook.

Newcastle pulled to within two points when Nathan Ross crossed for a try, before Frank Pritchard stormed over to earn his side some breathing space.

The Knights were not done yet, however, as Kurt Gidley skipped over for his 80th career try in his 250th game, but Canterbury hung on to its two-point lead to register the win.

– with AAP, ABC

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