Storm edge Broncos in Controversial Thriller
Friday August 17, 2012
The Brisbane Broncos have succumbed to Melbourne Storm 19-18 in a tense affair in front of 41,467 fans at Suncorp Stadium.
The result marked Brisbane’s fifth defeat in a row, but the home team can take plenty of positives from the result which was only decided by a Cooper Cronk field-goal in the dying minutes.
The Broncos managed to start off the game in quick fashion, similar to last week’s game against the Bulldogs.
However, three-straight tries to the Storm either side of halftime helped set up Melbourne’s 15th win of the season.
The Storm raced out of the blocks early in the second half when they crossed the line within three minutes of the restart.
After receiving the ball 12 metres out, Cooper Cronk intentionally drilled a grubber kick towards the right-hand post and was rewarded for his kick-chase effort when the rebound fell into his path and enabled him to dive over the line.
Cameron Smith had no troubles with the extra points and the scores were level at 12-all after 44 minutes.
The Storm scored their third try of the evening when a cross field bomb by Cronk was spilt by Josh Hoffman and Sisa Waqa was first to react and planted the ball firmly behind the line.
Smith continued his strong kicking display with another difficult conversion attempt to hand the Storm an 18-12 lead after 53 minutes.
Melbourne maintained their ascendancy for the next 15-minute period, but to Brisbane’s credit they were able to withstand the onslaught of Smith, Slater and Cronk.
The Broncos then found some luck when Bryan Norrie was penalised for elbowing Sam Thaiday in the face when completing a hit-up.
The incident spurred the Broncos into action and they found an emphatic response when Ben Hunt sent a short ball to Ben Te’o, who found the try line from close range in a similar fashion to his first try of the night.
Peter Wallace remained calm while lining up the conversion attempt, which was successful and levelled the score at 18-all inside the last 10 minutes.
When Ben Hunt knocked the ball on from the restart, it gave the Storm a great chance to snatch victory.
Cooper Cronk positioned himself deep behind the play-the-ball to ready himself for a field-goal attempt, which he slotted with ease.
With less than five minutes remaining, the Broncos had to start taking more risks with the football.
However despite their best efforts, Brisbane could not find a way to score again and Melbourne held on for a 19-18 victory.
The Broncos had first opportunity to post points in the first half after the Storm conceded a penalty for taking out Jack Reed off a Corey Norman bomb inside Brisbane’s red zone.
From the ensuing set, the ball spun out to the right side where a Corey Norman pass found Justin Hodges close to the line with his footwork proving too fancy for Melbourne’s cover defence to handle.
Despite having regular goal-kicker Corey Parker on the field, Peter Wallace was the one to line up the conversion attempt and made no mistake to hand Brisbane a dream start at 6-nil after seven minutes.
Brisbane looked sharp in the early exchanges and maintained possession deep in the Storm’s half, managing to force a line dropout in the process.
The dream start for the Broncos continued when acting dummy-half Sam Thaiday found five-eighth Ben Hunt, who delivered a short, flat ball to Ben Te’o who crashed over from close range.
Peter Wallace had no troubles with the conversion as the Broncos galloped to a 12-nil lead, 17 minutes in.
When Andrew McCullough kicked the ball out on the full from dummy-half, it gave Melbourne an ideal chance to hit back.
From the next set-of-six, the Storm managed to force a line dropout after a bomb was defused by Ben Hunt, who was judged to have caught the ball from outside the in-goal area and forced back.
Brisbane were able to soak up the pressure placed on them despite Melbourne’s non-stop raids down the left channel, with Kevin Proctor and Billy Slater looking particularly dangerous.
Melbourne had a great chance to open their scoring account after a 40/20 kick by Cameron Smith put the visitors in a great scoring position.
Two sets later and two minutes before halftime, Brisbane succumbed to the Storm’s surge.
Billy Slater found Sisa Waqa out wide and despite some severe doubts over the grounding of the ball, a benefit of the doubt try was awarded.
Cameron Smith nailed the sideline conversion to take the score to 12-6, which it remained until halftime.
Melbourne Storm 19 (Sisa Waqa 2, Cooper Cronk tries; Cameron Smith 3 goals, Cooper Cronk field-goal) def. Brisbane Broncos 18 (Ben Te’o 2, Justin Hodges tries; Peter Wallace 3 goals) at Suncorp Stadium. Half Time: Brisbane 12-6. Referees: Matt Cecchin and Chris James.
• Have a view on this story? Send us your feedback!
Barnes and Lucas to start against Rebels
Hockeyroos target World Cup qualification
Midfielder Miller signs for Brisbane
McCabe re-signs with Australian Rugby
Fury pair named In Shooting Stars Contract List
Brisbane say goodbye to Murdocca
Duffie to miss remainder of season
Phoenix sign A-League’s most successful coach
Reds to turn their attention to Stormers