Melbourne storms home to continue hoodoo
PERENNIAL NRL premiership contenders Melbourne stormed back into the top eight with a stunning 28-24 Houdini act against St George Illawarra at AMMI Park last night.
Extending their 15-year dominance over the Dragons in Melbourne, the Storm needed a last-minute Young Tonumaipea try in the corner after a sweeping raid to get the home side's season back on track.
With halfback Cooper Cronk calling the shots like a puppeteer, the Storm ended fears of a third successive loss in heart-stopping fashion.
It was the 12th defeat in a row for St George Illawarra in the Victorian capital as the Storm displaced the visitors in the top half of the premiership points table.
After establishing a 12-10 halftime buffer, the Dragons came out breathing with two enterprising tries to stun the AMMI Park faithful. But the Storm responded in a twinkling as Will Chambers crossed for his second try then Cronk skipped away to orchestrate a tense finish.
Yet with a 24-22 lead, the Dragons seemed likely to hold out their swarming rivals but the Storm would not be denied. The Melbourne fans had plenty to cheer about in the first session when big prop Jesse Bromwich gobbled up the crumbs of a Cronk bomb to provide Melbourne with a 6-4 advantage after 15 minutes.
Chambers could be looking for a future job in the circus after a breath-taking juggling display extended the home side's lead but the Dragons trotted off at 'lemons' in confident mood thanks to a Brett Morris incision after a Slater mistake.
Melbourne 28 (Will Chambers 2, Jesse Bromwich, Cooper Cronk, Young Tonumaipea tries; Cameron Smith 4 goals) def St George Illawarra 24 (Dylan Farrell, Brett Morris, Gerard Beale, Trent Merrin tries; Gareth Widdop 4 goals).