Storm overcome Tigers 14-12 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm overcome Tigers 14-12

By Melissa Woods 21/06/2009 05:48:58 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne can see light at the end of the Origin tunnel after escaping with a two-point NRL win over the desperate West Tigers.

The fourth-placed Storm held off the Tigers for a 14-12 victory on Sunday at Olympic Park, where the visitors have now lost in eight successive appearances.

The loss was their six out of the past seven rounds, with their NRL season now on life support.

But Melbourne's continued to gain momentum, the win more precious as it came without their four Origin stars.

Last year the Storm dropped the three games their representative players were forced to sit out but with the draw handing them two byes as well as this victory, they are in good stead.

Halfback Cooper Cronk starred as he scored a try and also pulled off a try-saving tackle, while backrowers Ryan Hoffman and Sika Manu both got through a mountain of work.

Tigers halfback Benji Marshall was also effective but conceded he "panicked" and overplayed his game when the pressure was on.

Wests coach Tim Sheens was left lamenting a raft of blown opportunities.

Their game could be summed up in the final two minutes when Dene Halatau threw a wild pass over the sideline when his team had an overlap.

"We had a chance to win the game and we blew it," Sheens said.

"We probably panicked in the last five minutes when we had a chance to maybe win it, although leaving it to that period of time down here is always difficult.

"We probably shot ourselves too many times in the foot to win the game with silly unforced errors."

Giant young forward Daine Laurie was penalised by Sheens, left on the bench for the final 20 minutes of the game after a series of mistakes.

He dropped a simple pass from Gareth Ellis with the line wide open late in the first half and was then penalised for taking out Cronk after he put a kick up.

In the ensuing play Storm forward Matt Cross barrelled across the line for a try, going through Laurie.

Soon after he was penalised for a dangerous tackle on Storm winger Anthony Quinn.

But Sheens felt the 13th-placed Tigers' season was still alive.

"We're not looking at what might happen at the end of the season, that just sends panic into the squad.

"What we need is another win ... you can't afford to think about what may or may not happen.

"There's a lot of footy to be played and there's not a lot between eighth and where everyone is ... who's to say we don't win the next eight."

Storm assistant coach Michael Maguire, stepping in for senior coach Craig Bellamy who is overseeing the NSW Origin side, was elated with his side's defence.

"The effort the 17 showed ... the boys stuck in there for the whole game defensively," he said.

The only negative for Melbourne was the send-off of centre Dane Nielsen with just over three minutes remaining for a dangerous tackle on Tigers winger Beau Ryan.

Maguire said he thought the tackle was an "accident".

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