Cellar dwellers Shellharbour travelled down to Melbourne to take on a Storm side desperate to bounce back after their high scoring shock loss last week to the Centurions.
Shellharbour got the game underway and both sides’ defences were solid early on. It took a powerful run by Thorby to make the first break of the game. He offloaded to Millard who was brought down by Hitchcox just two metres short of the try line. Davidson spread the ball right from dummy half and Brown scored in the corner after five minutes. Goodwin’s sideline conversion was unsuccessful.
From the restart, the Dragons focussed their attack down the Storm right edge. Brown made another break but was brought down by the cover defence on the last tackle. Melbourne managed to find themselves on the Dragons line shortly after but turned the ball over on the Dragons try line when attempting an offload.
A change of direction by Greenfield helped create an overlap on the left edge and he threw a beautiful cut-out pass to Jiminez who barged his way over the try line to score in the left corner. Goodwin’s sideline conversion attempt hit the upright and was flagged away. After ten minutes the Dragons lead 8-0.
Just 4 minutes later Melbourne hit back with a try to Rogers who took a hit up close to the Dragons line, hit the defence, twisted his way out of the two-man tackle and managed to ground the ball to the right of the posts. Kelly’s conversion attempt missed and after 15 minutes the Storm trailed by 4.
Melbourne’s left edge was again caught out when Davidson drifted left and threw a pass to Goodwin who drew the only defender out wide before passing to Jiminez who scored his second try in the left corner. Goodwin again unsuccessful with the sideline conversion.
Both sides struggled to complete their sets due to poor handling and silly passes turning possession over. An offload by Catania was intercepted by Kali. Melbourne spread the ball right but a bad last pass kills off the momentum. Cahill collected the loose ball but was pushed into touch.
A great play by Millard, who drifted right and passed to the straight running Marketo, who barged through the Storms sliding defence to score to the right of the posts. Goodwin’s conversion attempt hits the upright yet again denying him a conversion. After 26 minutes, the Dragons lead 16-4.
Melbourne’s defence improved markedly and they managed to hold out several Dragons attacking raids, but eventually they were caught out again on the left side when Fien put in a cross kick which was cleanly taken by Jiminez who scored in the left corner for the third time. Goodwin’s sideline conversion hit the cross bar and bounced over to give Shellharbour a 22-4 lead right on halftime.
The Storm scored the first points of the second half when Kelly ran across field to the right and gave a short pass to the straight running Chaill who ran through a gap to score. Kelly’s conversion hit the upright and bounced through to bring the deficit down to 12.
A midfield bomb shortly after by Widdop was allowed to bounce by Brown, who managed to regather the ball before being pushed into touch. From the ensuing scrum, Kelly sent the ball onto Hitchcox, who ran around the defence and almost made it to the try line but threw a flick pass back infield which was collected by Bromwich who would have been awarded a try if Hitchcox hadn’t stepped on the sideline.
A good dummy and step by Davidson saw him break through the defensive line and ran 30 metres before being tackled. Fien spread the right to Bosden, who got an offload away to Catania who scored under the posts. Goodwin converted the try and with less than 20 minutes remaining, Shellharbour increased their lead to 28-10.
Just five minutes later Henry made a break through the middle, passes left to Davidson who almost makes it to the try line before throwing a Benji Marshall-esque flick pass behind him to Jones who scores next to the posts. Goodwin converted the try to increase the lead to 24.
The Storm though never gave up. Koko injured his ankle when attacking the Dragons try line, and even though he was limping, he still called for the ball and managed to charge over the line but was held up.
Shellharbour though weren’t finished either, and some great work down the narrow left passage by Goodwin saw him get an offload away to Jiminez who scored an easy try in the left corner for the fourth time. Goodwin missed the conversion from out wide, leaving the score at 38-10 with 5 minutes left.
Melbourne attempted a shot restart and were successful when Koko caught the ball. Three tackles later, Bromwich received a pass and decided to charge at the try line and managed to get an arm free and reach out to score to the right of the posts. Kelly misses the conversion as the full time siren sounded.
1 Jy Hitchcox
2 Maeli Seve
16 Daniel O’Regan
4 Willie Isa
5 Michael Koko
6 Gareth Widdop
7 Luke Kelly (c)
8 Sinbad Kali
9 Rory Kostjasyn
10 Jesse Bromwich
11 Robbie Rochow
12 Atelea Vea
13 Billy Rogers
14 Mananui Te Hue Hue
15 Dale Langford
17 Fred Makimare
20 James Woolford
1 Ian Catania
15 Daniel Jiminez
3 Bronx Goodwin
6 Ryan Millard
5 Jace Brown
7 Brad Davidson
22 Nathan Fien
8 Ricky Thorby
9 Scott Jones
10 Junior Paulo
11 Jack Bosden
24 Jake Marketo
13 Michael Greenfield
14 Mataika Vatuvei
17 Aaron Henry
18 Rob Worsley
19 Scotty J Jones
WHEN THEY SCORED
4th min - Shellharbour 4-0 – Brown try
10th min - Shellharbour 8-0 – Jiminez try
14th min - Shellharbour 8-4 – Rogers try
18th min - Shellharbour 12-4 – Jiminez try
26th min - Shellharbour 16-4 – Marketo try
40th min - Shellharbour 22-4 – Jiminez try, Goodwin goal
46th min - Shellharbour 22-10 – Cahill try, Kelly goal
62nd min - Shellharbour 28-10 – Catania try, Goodwin goal
67th min - Shellharbour 34-10 – Jones try, Goodwin goal
76th min - Shellharbour 38-10 – Jiminez try
79th min - Shellharbour 38-14 – Bromwich try
SHELLHARBOUR 38 (Jiminez 4, Brown, Marketo, Catania, Jones tries; Goodwin 3 goals)
MELBOURNE 14 (Rogers, Cahill, Bromwich tries; Kelly goal)
Referee: Luke Phillips
Half-time: Shellharbour 22-4
Scrums: Melbourne 13-5
Penalties: 4 all
Goal Kickers: Goodwin (Shellharbour) 3 from 8; Kelly (Melbourne) 1 from 3.
****This match report appeared in Rugby League News magazine****