The Canberra Raiders went down to a quality Melbourne Storm side on Friday night as the green machine returned to GIO Stadium for the first time in 2019.
The home side were put on the back foot early as the visitors ran in three tries in the first 30 minutes, all thanks to their flying Fijian winger Suliasi Vunivalu.
The Raiders recovered well after the first half and by the end of the contest they enjoyed 52% possession.
Both sides had a relatively similar completion rate with the Storm edging out the Raiders 77% (27/35) to 76% (29/38).
From a total of 168 runs, Ricky Stuart’s side accumulated 1354 running metres. Craig Bellamy’s men combined for 1584 metres off 171 runs.
The Raiders completed eight off-loads overall while the Storm could only manage four however the Victorian side mustered five line breaks while the men from the nation’s capital could only gather two.
In the tackle count both sides were relatively even with the Storm edging out the Raiders with 319 to 315. The green machine however made a total of 41 missed tackles while Melbourne only made 31.
The Raiders strong pressure in the second half saw the Storm concede a total of 10 penalties while Canberra only conceded six.
Fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad continues to win over the Canberra faithful by putting in another strong showing in only his second game for the Club. The New Zealander made a total of 180 running metres from 20 runs while registering 54 post contact metres and six tackle breaks.
Josh Papalii was second for the green machine in metres made with a total of 138.
John Bateman and Josh Hodgson led the way for the green machine in the tackle count with 36 and 32 respectively.