Storm crack whip on Cowboys - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm crack whip on Cowboys

By Melissa Woods 07/08/2009 10:21:52 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne marched back into the NRL winner's circle with a clinical 20-8 win over North Queensland, continuing their misery at Olympic Park.

The Cowboys haven't won in Melbourne in seven attempts, unable to crack the fortress as they did at the Titans' home ground last round.

They had plenty of opportunities - blowing at least three try-scoring chances in the first half alone to trail 10-4 at the break.

While the Storm's defence was rock solid, North Queensland's attack was too often let down by wayward passes and handling errors.

Melbourne, on the other hand, made their plays count as they bounced back from their loss to ladder leaders St George Illawarra.

The result meant the Storm maintained their position in the top four on the NRL ladder while the Cowboys remained in a three-way tie with the Knights and the Sea Eagles in sixth spot.

Billy Slater was rested from training during the week to freshen up and the time out looked to have re-charged the fullback.

Slater and tireless lock Dallas Johnson were celebrating their 150th game with the club after making their NRL debut together.

He was mostly responsible for the Storm's third try, threw the final pass in their fourth, scored by winger Joe Tomane, and got through a mountain of work in defence.

Slater made a break and kept an arm free in the tackle by his opposite Matt Bowen to get a ball away to Brett White.

He then backed up to take the White pass and toss it out to Cooper Cronk for the halfback to touch down.

That try, in the 48th minute, seemed to take the wind out of North Queensland with Melbourne then taking control of the match.

The Storm's opening try was also impressive.

Winger Steve Turner, in his 100th NRL match, clicked over the Storm scoreboard in the ninth minute.

Turner leapt high to take a Cronk kick into the in-goal, showing his skill as he planted the ball in one motion just inside the sideline.

The Cowboys hit back five minutes later when they took a quick tap after a penalty against Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith, with the ball finding its way to Willie Tonga, who managed to ground it despite heavy Storm defence to make it 4-4.

Veteran five eighth Brett Finch, who recently re-signed for another season, was another early star for the home side.

Finch gave his side the lead again at the 25 minute mark when he took the ball 10m from the tryline and dummied before slipping untouched through the defensive line.

Tonga crossed again in the final minute but it was little consolation for the visiting side.

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