NRL: Melbourne Storm grind past valiant Gold Coast Titans

  • 25/08/2018

Melbourne have ground out a 10-8 win on the Gold Coast to edge ahead in the race for the NRL minor premiership.

The Storm rallied from 8-0 down at half-time, overcoming a flat first half to guarantee a top-four finish ahead of the final regular-season round.

Billy Slater ran for a career-best 289 metres in his final game in Queensland, while opposite number AJ Brimson (196 metres and three try-saving tackles) impressed for the hosts and Cameron Smith overcame a back concern to notch 44 tackles for the Storm.

Melbourne were sloppy in the first 40 minutes but slowly squeezed the Titans after the break.

Pressure built with Curtis Scott's 45th-minute try and they hit the lead with 20 minutes to play, Cameron Munster probing nearly 30 metres across field before ducking under a Kane Elgey tackle for the go-ahead try.

Gold Coast were then denied a penalty for a high tackle on Ashley Taylor that forced him from the field with nine minutes to play as the hosts were unable to create a chance at the death.

The Titans dominated the first half but only led 8-0, with Brimson's spinning try and a penalty goal their only reward.

It could have easily been more if not for a staggering defensive effort from Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr.

Brimson had broken down the left wing and kicked inside for Phillip Sami who was charging towards the line.

But the Melbourne winger came from the opposite side of the field to hold him up over the line in what proved to be a match-winning play.

Earlier Slater had swallowed a kick return and broken the line to put a maiden NRL try on a platter for Justin Olam, only for the winger to spill it.      

Melbourne were lucky to finish the half with a full contingent, with Olam off the line early in a clear off-side that stalled the frustrated Titans' final set before the break.

AAP 

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