North Sydney 12
North Sydney, looking to score the second win of the season and get them away from the bottom of the ladder, travelled to Melbourne to take on the Storm who were on a 2 game winning streak and had recently snuck into the top 8.
The game was a very open match and full of near misses. The first of which came after 10 minutes, when Matt Hunt dived over for what would have been a try had the last pass not been ruled forward. From the scrum, the Storm made easy metres to get out of their own half. Woolford broke through the defence and headed to the sideline looking for support, which arrived in the form of Dane Chisholm, who scored in the corner. Widdop’s attempt at goal from the sideline was waved away and Storm lead 4-0.
North Sydney’s restart went dead and the Storm received a gift attacking opportunity. Some great short passing and angled running saw Kali bust through just 5 metres shy, he offloaded but it went to ground. North’s went right on the attack from the ensuing scrum, Clark busting through the middle of the field and running 30 metres, before passing back inside to Capewell who was eventually tackled well inside the Storm half. A Williams cross kick was easily diffused by Koko and the Storm survived again.
The game was moving freely from end to end, with both sides breaking through the defence, but last tackle options seemed to be lacking at times and neither side came close to scoring in the remainder of the first half. Kicks for wingers were ineffective and often easily cleaned up by the defence, or last gasp passes were knocked on or intercepted. However, the game was quick and open with plenty of excitement. At halftime the Melbourne Storm lead 4-0.
In the second half, Norths came out and applied the pressure early. After 9 minutes of the second half, Clark scored for the Bears near the posts after Norths received back to back sets of six thanks to a penalty. Play was sent to the Bears left side, a quick short pass inside to Clark, running against the run of play, busted through two Storm defenders and dived over. Paea converted the try and Norths were leading 6-4.
Norths had their tails up and were playing much better. Apps made a break and feel agonisingly close to the Storm tryline, but lost the ball. The score remained unchanged until the 60th minute, when Capewell made a weaving run downfield before passing to Falloon who ran 20 metres to score to the right of the posts. Paea converted and Norths had a comfortable 12-4 lead.
In the next set Norths made easy metres once again. On the last came the kick that changed the game. Joe Williams put up a cross kick to his winger, but they weren’t wide enough. Chisholm caught the ball and immediately set sail up the left hand side of the field running the length of the field to score under the posts without a finger laid on him. Widdop converted the try. Norths 8 point lead had been cut back to 2 in just 3 minutes.
Five minutes later, after receiving repeat sets of six due to a penalty for a high tackle, Melbourne had scored again through Chase Stanley, due to some skilful short quick passing creating an overlap on the left side. Chisholm’s sideline conversion was perfect and the Storm had regained the lead, 16-12.
Melbourne’s attack instantly lifted another notch. 5 minutes later they were in again, this time by some great running against the run of play by O’Neill, who scored just to the right of the posts. Chisholm again converted and the Strom were now running away with the game 22-12.
The last two minutes saw another two tries for Melbourne. Chisholm scored by diving on a clever grubber behind the Norths defence. Chisholm’s sideline attempt hit the upright. After 79 minutes the Storm lead 26-12. Norths opted for a short restart and managed to regain possession. But a simple knock-on in the second tackle was scooped up by Stanley who ran 70 metres to score untouched. Chisholm converted as the siren sounded and the Storm were runaway victors, 32-12.
1 Justin O’Neill
2 Dane Chisholm
3 Luke MacDougall
4 Chase Stanley
5 Michael Koko
6 Gareth Widdop
7 Luke Kelly
8 Sinbad Kali
9 James Woolford
10 Sione Kite
11 Fred Makimare
12 Daniel O’Reagan
13 Billy Rogers
14 Anthony Killingbeck
15 Mananui Te Hue Hue
16 Dale Langford
17 Pulou Vaituutuu
22 Jy Hitchcox
NORTH SYDNEY BEARS
1 Luke Capewell
2 Mark Talanoa
3 Shaune Corrigan
4 Andre Itula
5 Curtis Johnston
6 Eddie Paea
7 Joe Williams
8 Garret Crossman
9 Beau Falloon
10 Daniel Sayegh
11 Matt Hunt
12 Deon Apps
13 Jason Clark
14 Brock Molan
15 Martin Field
16 Ryan Apps
17 Dean Webster
19 James Nightingale
23 Jarod Hogan
WHEN THEY SCORED
16th min – Melbourne 4-0 – Chisholm try
49th min – North Sydney 6-4 – Clark try, Paea goal
60th min – North Sydney 12-4 – Falloon try, Paea goal
63rd min – North Syney 12-10 – Chisholm try, Widdop goal
68th min – Melbourne 16-12 – Stanley try, Widdop goal
74th min – Melbourne 22-12 – O’Neill try, Widdop goal
78th min – Melbourne 26-12 – Chisholm try
80th min – Melbourne 32-12 – Stanley try, Widdop goal
MELBOURNE 32 (Chisholm 3, Stanley 2, O’Neill tries; Widdop 4 goals)
NORTH SYDNEY 12 (Clark, Falloon tries; Paea 2 goals)
Referee: Gavin West
Touch Judges: Nathan Hogan, Monty Beecroft
Half-Time: Melbourne 4-0
Scrums: Niorth Sydney 9-6
Penalties: Melbourne 5-4
Goal Kickers: Widdop (Melbourne) 4 from 6; Paea (North Sydney) 2 from 2
****This match report appeared in Rugby League News magazine****