Slater double helps Storm beat Warriors - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Slater double helps Storm beat Warriors

26/06/2011 04:13:47 PM Comments (0)

Contrasting afternoons for the rival fullbacks highlighted Billy Slater's importance to Melbourne, as the Storm star pocketed a double in the NRL ladder leader's 16-8 win over the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium.

Slater capitalised on a pinpoint kicking game from halfback Cooper Cronk, his barrage of high kicks tormenting a Warriors side which has lost four games on the trot.

Cronk's favourite target was Warriors' fullback Lance Hohaia, who made a mess of two bombs to gift tries to the visitors.

His second error - four minutes from time when the Warriors trailed by just two - handed Slater his second, Hohaia fumbling a kick on his own line with the ever-present Storm custodian picking up the scraps to seal the win.

"They were both pretty lucky tries coming off kicks," Slater told Fox Sports, with his first try coming after he had grubbered through for himself for a 10-2 lead after 16 minutes.

"That's the way it goes sometimes. The boys really fought hard - our completions at halftime, I think we only didn't complete one set.

"You don't have to be flamboyant and win by 30 points each week, so long as you're doing enough to keep the opposition to a low score and we're picking up a few points ourselves.

"We did enough to get over the line today and, hopefully, we can keep improving."

The win maintains the Storm's standing at the top of the NRL ladder, with their two nearest rivals Manly and St George Illawarra to clash on Monday night.

Hohaia's afternoon began on the wrong foot when he was slow to react to a Cronk bomb after 11 minutes, Gareth Widdop swooping on the bouncing ball to nullify an early penalty goal to Warriors' five-eighth James Maloney.

Lewis Brown did a much better job of defusing Cronk's next high ball, only for the Warriors to be harshly penalised for a Brett Seymour block on Slater.

Slater crossed on the ensuing set, but the Warriors slowly fought their way back into the contest, only for long breaks by Feleti Mateo and Manu Vatuvei to go to waste due to a lack of support.

Hohaia made amends for his earlier error as he went over untouched after a sustained period of dominance midway through the second half, Warriors' coach Ivan Cleary pleased with the way his side stayed with the visitors.

"It was certainly a strong 80-minute effort," Cleary told NZPA.

"If we can get back to putting in that sort of performance in each week, then we'll see a few less errors."

Hohaia wasn't the only Warrior to have a disappointing afternoon, with halfback Brett Seymour suffering a suspected broken thumb, as well as being put on report for a swinging arm on winger Matt Duffie.

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