Match Report: Raiders tame the Storm
The Canberra Raiders only need one win from their final three matches to secure a top-four berth after defeating the top of the table Melbourne Storm.
Backing up their 30-14 win over Cronulla, the Raiders were largely untroubled by the Storm as they claimed a 22-8 victory.
It took only a minute for the NRL’s best attack to find a way past the competition’s best defence.
Hooker Josh Hodgson created an opportunity from dummy-half by feigning to his left before sending the ball right. Hodgson’s fellow Englishman, Whitehead, capitalised on the subsequent overlap by busting through the defence before passing to Leilua who scored.
The Storm hit back when Cronk scored from a set play. Receiving the ball from Smith, Cronk shaped to pass before running through the subsequent hole in the Raiders line.
Smith kicked the Storm ahead after a dangerous tackle from Hodgson gifted Melbourne with an opportunity in front of the posts.
However, the Raiders hit back strongly through Joey Leilua. The dominant centre received the ball 10 meters out with plenty of work to do but busted through two tackles to score.
With five minutes to go before halftime, the Raiders were awarded a penalty 35 meters from the post. Faced with a difficult kick, Croker made no mistake to extend the Raiders lead to 14-8.
The Raiders continued to apply pressure to the Storm defence, and it finally cracked when Boyd scored his second try of the season. The forward was too strong for the defence, barging his way over the line after receiving a pass from Hodgson.
Melbourne continued to barrage the Raiders line as they attempted to force their way back into the match but were unable to break the physical Canberra defence.
Croker wrapped up the win kicking his second penalty of the game to secure a famous 22-8 win.
Raiders 22 (Tries: Leilua 2, Boyd, Conversions: Croker 3/3 Penalties: Croker 2/2) defeated Storm 8 (Tries: Cronk Conversions: Smith 1/1 Penalties: Smith /1)
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