Melbourne Storm edge Sydney Roosters 16-13 in enthralling tussle

  • 12/08/2017

Melbourne have snatched a 16-13 win over the Sydney Roosters in an enthralling and at times bizarre top-of-the table clash to maintain their firm hold on the NRL minor premiership.

The competition-leading Storm kept their four-point buffer, needing just one more win from their remaining three matches to secure the JJ Giltinan Shield.              

Second-rower Joe Stimson, in his debut NRL season, was the man of the moment, scoring in the 77th minute for his team to regain the match-winning lead.

The Roosters hit the front for the first time in the match four minutes earlier thanks to a Luke Keary field goal. 

But in typical Storm fashion, the match was far from over.           

Cooper Cronk attempted a field goal that was charged down by Connor Watson but Stimson couldn't be stopped close to the line in the ensuing play.       

It was a fitting end to a pulsating contest despite being played in steady rain at AAMI Park.         

The Roosters proved their own worst enemy in the first half, on the wrong end of a 9-3 penalty count which had them trailing 10-6.      

Melbourne's lead was out to 12-6 until the 61st match when Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell slotted a superb conversion of Mitch Aubusson's sideline try that levelled the score at 12-12.   

That opportunity came when Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu took a kick and then attempted to hurdle two Roosters players, giving away a penalty and ending up on report.

Vunivalu was also involved in a contentious refereeing decision in the first half when the bunker awarded the Storm a penalty try, ruling that Vunivalu had been taken out by Mitchell in the race to the tryline.            

Keary broke the deadlock with his first NRL career field-goal but the Storm wouldn't be denied.               


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