NRL 2019: Superb NZ Warriors effort comes up short as Storm take late win

  • 26/04/2019

A Brodie Croft field goal in the dying minutes has secured an ugly 13-12 win for Melbourne over the Warriors in their Anzac Day clash at AAMI Park.

The halfback slotted a shaky match-winner from 35m out, with the ball hitting the upright before going through.

The Storm looked headed for just the third back-to-back home losses in the club's history before the Warriors' Isaiah Papali'i was penalised for holding down in the play the ball with four minutes remaining.

Third-string goal-kicker Cameron Munster, with Croft and Cameron Smith not kicking due to groin issues, locked up the match at 12-12 with a strike from directly in front.

And then Croft came good when it counted.

Backing up from their golden point loss to the Sydney Roosters, the Storm struggled to find any rhythm while the understrength Warriors looked hungry for a win.

Skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (hamstring) and halfback Blake Green (groin) were late withdrawals, while Solomone Kata dropped out of the side on compassionate grounds.

Kata's replacement, Patrick Herbert, impressed on debut.

In stark contrast to last year's 36-0 scoreline, the Storm trailed the visitors 8-4 at halftime, continuing their worrying trend of slow starts.

They hit the front three minutes into the second half when Smith showed his vision and class to put through a grubber for fullback Jahrome Hughes, who crashed over the line.

However their lead only lasted four minutes before the Warriors were in front again, with the Storm defence caught short thanks to winger Suliasi Vunivalu rushing out of the line.

Peta Hiku spotted the overlap and sent a long ball out to Ken Maumalo to touch down.

Melbourne's only try of the first half was started and finished by Munster.

The five-eighth kicked cross-field to Josh Addo-Carr, with the winger batting it back across into the arms of Munster, who closed the gap to 8-4.

The Warriors continued to chance their arm while the Storm fumbled around, uncharacteristically falling off tackles and dropping balls.

But they did enough to keep in touch with the Warriors, who have now lost three straight.

Storm skipper Smith was awarded the Anzac Medal for best on ground.