Defiant Warriors fight off Storm 13-6 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Defiant Warriors fight off Storm 13-6

By Nicky Park 17/07/2010 10:30:40 PM Comments (0)

The Warriors extended their winning streak to five games and inflicted further pain on the troubled Melbourne Storm with a hard-fought 13-6 NRL win at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday.

It was a case of deja vu for the Warriors who had to face the Storm after a week of salary cap dramas, just as they did when hammered 40-6 in April when the scandal broke.

"It's been a big week again, we can say that it doesn't affect us, but it does affect us," Storm coach Craig Bellamy admitted after the match, adding he didn't want to undermine the Warriors' efforts with excuses.

But Ivan Cleary's enthusiastic side was up for the task this time, dictating the tempo of the game and defending strongly again in front a decent crowd of 13,118 considering the All Blacks played simultaneously in Wellington.

"We're putting the whole package together at the moment so hopefully that can continue," Cleary said after the game.

"We were in a much better position to face (the Storm) this time around, we're playing much better and there's a lot more confidence in the team."

An early spill from Storm rookie Justin O'Neill put the Warriors on the attack just five minutes in and they took a 2-0 lead when James Maloney slotted a penalty from right in front.

That lead was extended four minutes later when former Storm halfback Maloney set up big winger Manu Vatuvei in the corner.

Warriors centre Jerome Ropati was able to fall over the line in almost exactly the same spot a few minutes later and the points dried up as the home side headed into halftime 12-0 up.

Popular Melbourne fullback Billy Slater made things interesting in the second half, scoring in the 57th minute thanks to some fancy footwork.

But New Zealand's defence held firm in the closing stages, just as it did in the last week's gritty 12-6 win at Penrith.

"Defensively I thought we just looked really solid again and in the end let it in a pretty soft try against a pretty sharp operator," Cleary said.

Maloney, booted a field goal in the dying minutes to guarantee the win and continue the Warriors' remarkable rise up the table and into the top four.

It was a frustrating night for the Storm following revelations this week the club has spent $3.17m over the cap since 2006 - controversy which Cleary said he tried to ignore coming in to Saturday night's Heritage Round clash.

Storm players copped plenty of boos from the parochial crowd, while captain Cameron Smith could only smile amid deafening chants of "cheat" as he converted Slater's try.

"We've had to go through three months of drama and it's taking it's toll I guess," Smith said after the game.

"There's certainly a bit of disappointment in the sheds."

The Warriors, who are now top four contenders, will take on the South Sydney at ANZ stadium next Sunday while the Storm, who have notched up three straight losses, will return home to face Penrith.

Inglis refused to comment on the speculation, brushing past journalists waiting to speak to him after the loss in Auckland.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news