Rugby League

Live: Storm v Bulldogs

That's it from me. Join Phil Mitchell tomorrow night as he takes you through the Wests Tigers v Parramatta match from Leichhardt Oval. Until next time, goodnight.

Some telling stats from the match. Note the possession and completion rates, yet the Bulldogs still lost the match.

STORM 22 BT BULLDOGS 18
Penalties: Melbourne 7-7
Scrums: Canterbury-Bankstown 7-6
Completed Sets: Melbourne 29/39 (74.36%)   Canterbury-Bankstown 32/39 (82.05%)
Possession: Melbourne 43%  Canterbury-Bankstown 57%

Melbourne
Tries: Matthew Duffie, Mahe Fonua, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Lagi Setu; Goals: Cameron Smith 3/4 goals;
Tackles: Cameron Smith 42, Ryan Hinchcliffe 31, Gareth Widdop 27, Tohu Harris 27
Runs: Tohu Harris 14 (120m), Ryan Hoffman 14 (117m), Jesse Bromwich 12 (113m), Billy Slater 11 (154m)
Offloads: Jesse Bromwich 4, Cameron Smith 4, Billy Slater 2, Matthew Duffie 2
Metres: Billy Slater 154m, Tohu Harris 120m, Ryan Hoffman 117m, Mahe Fonua 114m
Linebreaks: Billy Slater 2, Mahe Fonua 1, Ryan Hinchcliffe 1, Lagi Setu 1
Kicks: Cooper Cronk 11 (230m), Gareth Widdop 3 (122m), Cameron Smith 3 (158m), Billy Slater 2 (28m)

Canterbury-Bankstown
Tries: Krisnan Inu, Sam Perrett, Kris Keating; Goals: Krisnan Inu 3/3 goals;
Tackles: Michael Ennis 30, Josh Jackson 29, Dale Finucane 25, Aiden Tolman 24
Runs: Drury Low 16 (145m), Krisnan Inu 15 (158m), Aiden Tolman 14 (121m), Josh Jackson 14 (108m)
Offloads: Krisnan Inu 2, Tony Williams 2, Dene Halatau 1, David Klemmer 1
Metres: Krisnan Inu 158m, Drury Low 145m, Aiden Tolman 121m, Josh Morris 113m
Linebreaks: Josh Morris 2, Krisnan Inu 2, Mitch Brown 1, Greg Eastwood 1
Kicks: Josh Reynolds 13 (332m), Kris Keating 10 (275m), Drury Low 1 (7m), Krisnan Inu 1 (38m)

Demanding attention: Tony Williams of the Bulldogs is a hard man to take down.
Demanding attention: Tony Williams of the Bulldogs is a hard man to take down. Photo: Getty Images
Eyes on the ball? Billy Slater and David Klemmer.
Eyes on the ball? Billy Slater and David Klemmer. Photo: Getty Images

"I just go up for the footy and try and protect myself as best as I can": Billy Stater when talking to Andrew Johns on Channel Nine after receiving the man-of-the-match award.

Securing the ball: the Storm's Billy Slater.
Securing the ball: the Storm's Billy Slater. Photo: Getty Images

Here is the moment that will no doubt have chins wagging over the next few days. Billy Slater was placed on report for dangerous play.

FULLTIME - And that's it. The Storm have won after quite a scare. The Bulldogs fought back well and will gain some confidence from their second-half effort.
Storm 22 Bulldogs 18
Stay tuned for some stats and second half photo's.

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SIX MORE tackles BULLDOGS - Grandstand finale here! One minute to go!

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TRY Canterbury. That try was all about their support play.  Josh Morris flies past Cooper Cronk before offloading to Mitch Brown who passes to Kris Keating who scores.
Krisnan Inu converts. We have a game on here, four points in it.
Storm 22 lead the Bulldogs 18 with 3 to go.

TRY - Krisnan Inu get o the scorebaord with 9 minutes left. There's life left in the Doggies. The Bulldogs spread the ball wide and with a strong inside step, Inu forces himself over the line.
Inu converts his own try. Storm 22lead the Bulldogs 12 with 8 minutes left.

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TRY - Lagi Setu picked a ball from his laces, with a huge right-foot step went past a Bulldogs defender and crossed the line. That came on the back of a Billy Slater break, the fullback running 40 yards before getting tackled. The Storm are powering away with this one.
Storm 22 lead the Bulldogs 6 in the 65th minute.

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Great hops: Matt Duffie shows he's got plenty of spring in his step as he scores a try for the Storm.
Great hops: Matt Duffie shows he's got plenty of spring in his step as he scores a try for the Storm. Photo: Getty Images

TRY - perfect Cooper Cronk cross-field kick to Matt Duffie. What a leap, what a catch, what a try! The Storm have talent all over the pitch. Cameron Smith - case and point.
Storm 16 lead the Bulldogs 6 in the 64th minute.

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Billy Slater show here. Putting in kicks, try-saving tackles, great kick and chases. He's been the best on the pitch tonight. The Storm are clocking up some serious possession here. Can they put some more space between them and the Bulldogs.

Cooper Cronk - is that a try? Was their obstruction? For mine, that was a try. Bryan Norrie made contact with the defensive line at a pint that was well out of play. How could the defender have ade an impact on the play in question? The Storm were denied a try there. Bad decision.
Storm lead the Bulldogs 10-6 with 20 minutes to go.

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Cooper Cronk - what an effort, he ran down Josh Morris but his efforts were in vain as Billy Slater pushes Morris into touch after he was held. Penalty Buldogs.

Tohu Harris puts in a grubber. This Storm team is full of talent. The very next tackle Junior Sa'u drives through the Bulldogs defence, stretches out his arm over his head but comes up 3 inches short. Great effort by the centre.
Storm lead the Bulldogs 10-6 with 12 minutes gone in the second half.

Charge-down by Griffin on a Reynolds kick - Drury Low cleans up under pressure.

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TRY. Sam Perrett marks a cross-field kick from Josh Reynolds for his second try of the season. Krisnan Inu slots the conversion.
Storm 10 lead the Bulldogs 6 four minutes into the second half.

Boot to face - This is an injury here. Billy Slater went up for a high ball and studded David Klemmer in the face. That looked medievil. Was Billy Slater allowed to be tackled in the air? The penalty has gone to the Bulldogs for a foul on the play before the stud-attack. Slater on report for dangerous play.

Here they come for the second half. Can the Bulldogs overturn a 10-point deficit in 40 minutes? Not an enviable task. The Storm haven't looked their brilliant best, but they haven't had to. The intensity of this one has been lacking somewhat. The Bulldogs need to raise their game in this second half and start exploiting their good field position.

Here are some stats from the game so far. 

Melbourne
Tackles: Cameron Smith 21, Ryan Hinchcliffe 19, Cooper Cronk 18, Tohu Harris 18
Runs: Ryan Hoffman 10 (84m), Tohu Harris 8 (67m), Mahe Fonua 7 (76m), Billy Slater 6 (65m)
Offloads: Jesse Bromwich 2, Cameron Smith 2, Billy Slater 1, Junior Sa'u 1
Metres: Ryan Hoffman 84m, Mahe Fonua 76m, Tohu Harris 67m, Billy Slater 65m
Linebreaks: Billy Slater 1, Mahe Fonua 1, Ryan Hinchcliffe 1
Kicks: Cooper Cronk 6 (122m), Cameron Smith 3 (158m), Will Chambers 2 (58m), Gareth Widdop 2 (72m)

Canterbury-Bankstown
Tackles: Michael Ennis 19, Aiden Tolman 18, Dale Finucane 17, Josh Jackson 16
Runs: Drury Low 11 (94m), Aiden Tolman 10 (87m), Krisnan Inu 8 (69m), Sam Perrett 7 (43m)
Offloads: Krisnan Inu 2, Tony Williams 1, Drury Low 0, Mitch Brown 0
Metres: Drury Low 94m, Aiden Tolman 87m, Mitch Brown 70m, Krisnan Inu 69m
Linebreaks: Mitch Brown 1, Greg Eastwood 1,
Kicks: Josh Reynolds 7 (196m), Kris Keating 6 (124m), Krisnan Inu 1 (38m)

Agile: Storm winger Mahe Fonua touches down in the corner under severe pressure from the Bulldogs defence. The winger ...
Agile: Storm winger Mahe Fonua touches down in the corner under severe pressure from the Bulldogs defence. The winger has been heavily involved in this match so far. Photo: Getty Images

Halftime - the Bulldogs trail the barnstorming Storm 10-0. Effective as the Storm's offence has been, it's been their defence that has been outstanding. How they adsorb so much Bulldog pressure without giving up a sniff astounds me. A deserved lead. Make a comment, how have you seen the first half?

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