The undefeated Windsor travelled down to Melbourne to take on the young Storm side fresh from their first win last week. In an open match, Windsor held out a fast finishing Melbourne side.
Melbourne opened the scoring in just the 4th minute after a deep Luke Kelly kick into the Windsor in-goal was poorly judged by Sandor Earl and he accidentally knocked the ball dead. From the ensuing drop-out, the Storm pushed play down the right hand side and some deft passing Duffie pushed through some brittle defence and scored in the corner. Kelly converted and the Storm were leading 6-0 after just 5 minutes.
However, this early breakthrough did nothing but kick the Windsor attack into gear. From the restart the Storm lost the ball due to some heavy defence. Windsor began the set just 20 metres out from the Storm line. Russell scored a clever hookers try when he barged over from dummy half near the uprights. Trindall converted to level the scores after 8 minutes.
The game started to open up and some great running, particularly by Sweeney, saw Windsor gain the upper hand. His support play and offload lead to a try out wide on the left hand side, which created an overlap leading to a Watane try in the corner. Trindall’s sideline conversion was successful after bouncing in off the crossbar and the Wolves ran out to a 12-6 lead after 17 minutes.
Melbourne turned out some quick attack and after some enterprising play saw them travel 60 metres downfield to be just 20 metres shy of the Windsor tryline after just 3 tackles, but some poor handling saw them turn the ball over cheaply. Windsor pushed the ball to the left and made huge metres downfield immediately. On the 3rd tackle, play was switched infield where Walker ran through some lazy defence and scored under the posts. Trindall’s conversion took the score out to 18-6 after 21 minutes.
Windsor was on the receiving end of some promising Storm attacking raids, however their defence held them out. In their first set in the Storm half for near 10 minutes, a cross-kick by Trindall to the right, into the Storm in-goal, was caught by Hall who scored. Trindall again was successful with the conversion, and with 7 minutes remaining in the half, Windsor looked to be on their way to a cricket score, leading 24-6.
Windsor tried the same cross-kick ploy again but to no avail. Melbourne were gifted a golden attacking opportunity after earning repeat sets. They pushed the ball right and created an overlap giving Koko enough space down the touchline to score in the corner in the 38th minute. The conversion attempt from the touchline failed. Windsor went into the sheds at halftime with a seemingly comfortable 24-10 lead.
The second half saw both teams turn up the intensity in defence with neither team gaining any real advantage until Clark kicked a 40/20 for Windsor. From the scrum win, Walker ran through some feeble defence practically untouched, and scored next to the posts. Trindall’s conversion took the score out to 30-10 in the 52nd minute.
It took until the 65th minute for the Storm’s speedy attack to break the game open. After some quick play up the middle of the park, Willie Isa scored an easy try between the posts against a back-peddaling Windsor defence. Kelly converted to make the score 30-16.
Five minutes later, the Storm were on the board again. Widdop made a break down the Right side of the field, he passed inside to Chisholm who got the ball away to Isa, who stood in a tackle, but managed to get a long pass out to O’Neill who scored in the left corner, taking the score to 30-20.
With 7 minutes left in the game, Melbourne moved down the left side of the field. Munro broke through the tiring Windsor defence and got a pass inside to Rochow who dived over near the posts. Kelly converted and Windsor’s 20 point lead had been quickly brought back to 4.
In the 76th minute, Windsor, through some simply yet effective forward play, made some easy metres into the Storm half. Trindall positioned himself nicely in front of the posts and potted an uncontested field goal, taking the lead out to 5.
Just as the full-time siren was about to sound, Windsor received a penalty 25 metres out from the Storm line and Trindall opted to take the kick at goal, which was successful. Windsor finishing eventual winners by 33-26.
1 Ryan Walker
2 Zoram Watane
3 Maurice Blair
4 Matthew Hall
5 Sandor Earl
6 Brad Clark
7 Craig Trindall
8 David Tangata-Toa
9 Ryan Russell
10 Aaron Sweeney
11 Daniel Penese
12 Josh Bateman
13 Matt McConnell
14 Shane Blackett
15 Wiremu Weepu
16 Shenelle Haumono
17 Steve Meredith
18 Jesse Sene Lefao
5 Dane Chisholm
2 Justin O’Neill
3 Willie Isa
4 Matt Duffie
1 Gareth Widdop
6 Rory Kostjasyn
7 Luke Kelly
8 Rulon Nutira
9 James Woolford
10 Fred Makimare
11 Alan Munro
12 Rob Rochow
13 Billy Rogers
14 Anthony Killingbeck
15 Sinbad Kali
16 Dale Langford
17 Dan O’Regan
20 Michael Koko
WHEN THEY SCORED
4th min – Melbourne 6-0 – Duffie try, Kelly goal
9th min – 6 all – Russell try, Trindall goal
17th min – Windsor 12-6 – Watane try, Trindall goal
21st min – Windsor 18-6 – Walker try, Trindall goal
33rd min – Windsor 24-6 – Hall try, Trindall goal
38th min – Windsor 24-10 – Koko try
52nd min – Windsor 30-10 – Walker try, Trindall goal
62nd min – Windsor 30-16 – Isa try, Kelly goal
69th min – Windsor 30-20 – O’Neill try
75th min – Windsor 30-26 – Rochow try, Kelly goal
79th min – Windsor 31-26 – Trindall field goal
80th min – Windsor 33-26 – Trindall goal
WINDSOR 33 (Walker 2, Watane, Hall, Russell tries; Trindall 6 goals; Trindall field goal)
MELBOURNE 26 (O’Neill, Isa, Duffie, Rochow, Koko tries; Kelly 3 goals)
Referee: Robert Bowen
Half-Time: Windsor 24-10
Scrums: Windsor 7-6
Penalties: Windsor 9-7
Goal kickers: Trindall (Windsor) 6 from 6; Kelly (Melbourne) 3 from 5.
****This match report appeared in Rugby League News Magazine****