Storm grabs last gasp win from Bulldogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm grabs last gasp win from Bulldogs

By Melissa Woods 23/06/2006 10:32:46 PM Comments (0)

Jake Webster was Melbourne's miracle man at Olympic Park, scoring a try in the final seconds to steal a 16-12 NRL win from the Bulldogs.

The try was Webster's second in the final six minutes of the match as the Storm surged back after the Bulldogs looked to have wrapped it up.

It had appeared Melbourne would fall two points short after hooker Cameron Smith failed to convert Webster's first try, with his kick hitting the upright.

But with only three seconds left on the clock Webster touched down again to leave the Bulldogs, who had dominated the match, shell-shocked and the Storm fans delighted.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy said his side beat the Bulldogs at their own game.

"We out-Bulldogged the Bulldogs tonight," he said after admitting he thought he'd have to settle for a loss when Smith's kick missed.

"They're famous for winning close games like that, right down to the wire, so it was nice to see the guys show that much spirit to hang in and not give up."

Webster's second try came after a kick by halfback Cooper Cronk was collected by backrower Ryan Hoffman, who then got the pass away to the centre who raced down-field to touch down.

Until then it appeared Melbourne had suffered a bad case of stage fright.

The Storm hadn't played a Friday night feature match since round six last year, quietly creeping to the top of the table away from the Sydney league spotlight.

But with the pressure on, the home side crumbled, let down by a crushing first-half error rate.

They only trailed 4-0 at the break thanks to some desperate defence, but blew most of their own try-scoring opportunities with schoolboy errors.

"We were very disappointed at halftime with the way we played and we deserved to be further down than 4-0," Bellamy said.

"The thing I was really happy with was the perseverance they showed and their defence."

Compounding the home side's early woes, fullback Steve Turner left the field with broken ribs while reserve forward Ian Donnelly suffered a serious ankle injury and could be out for up to eight weeks.

Bulldogs prop Willie Mason was a late withdrawal with a corked thigh but is a certainty for State of Origin III.

With winger Chris Walker filling in at fullback, the Storm could have used former Queensland representative Billy Slater, however he was left out of the squad in his return from suspension after five-eighth Scott Hill recovered from a virus to play.

Sonny Bill Williams, playing in the centres, terrorised Storm winger Matt Geyer in the first half, scoring the opening try.

Geyer, left marking two men, chose to race up out of his line to tackle the giant teenager, however the Bulldog spun out of the tackle and charged to the line.

The competition leaders hit the lead six minutes into the second half after hooker Smith darted out of dummy half from 40 metres out and caught defenders Mark O'Meley and Daniel Irvine napping before he off-loaded to Antonio Kaufusi.

Smith converted for a 6-4 lead.

Their joy was short-lived as the Bulldogs caught Webster short with winger Trent Cutler scoring out wide five minutes later, but it was the big Storm centre who was left smiling after snatching the win.

Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes said he thought his side did enough to win.

"I was happy with the effort, there were certainly a lot more positives than negatives.

"We probably deserved to win but that's the way it goes," he said.

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