In what was called the game of the round in the lead-up, this one has not disappointed with the Melbourne Storm securing a 26-18 win over the Sydney Roosters in front of 19,164 fans at Allianz Stadium.
The first opportunity for points came from the Roosters but Anthony Minichello was penalised for passing the ball off the ground after being held, from there it was the Storm who had the momentum for the next 20 minutes after capitalising on early pressure to score through Justin O’Neill.
The Roosters looked quite ordinary in the opening quarter with several players making some uncharacteristic mistakes and giving away some cheap penalties as well. Conversely, the Storm were clinical in the opening quarter with Maurice Blair taking advantage of some good decoy play to go through and score untouched.
The hosts started to turn the momentum and with that gain in momentum, they managed to get back level with tries to Luke O’Donnell in the 27th minute and then ten minutes later through Michael Jennings to get scores back level at 12-12.
That wasn’t the end of the points for the first half - the Roosters conceded a try on the stroke of half time with some controversial calls in the lead up helping the Storm to get down the field and score through their captain Cameron Smith to give the Storm an 18-12 half time lead.
The opening 20 minutes of the second half were an arm-wrestle with neither side being able to crack the opponents goal line with the only play being where Storm debutant Jordan McLean was held up in goal.
Mal Meninga and his Queensland Origin selectors will have a nervous wait with Storm halfback Cooper Cronk being placed on report for a dangerous throw on Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
Sydney were unable to capitalise on their attacking position with Storm winger Sisa Waqa taking an intercept and running 60m before being chased down by James Maloney. Melbourne were able to capitalise on this field position and scored through Will Chambers, with Smith being unable to convert.
Seven minutes later Smith pushed the lead out to two converted tries after slotting a penalty goal, and just five minutes after that the Roosters set up what looked like it could be a grandstand finish with a beautiful set play resulting in a Tuivasa-Sheck try with a brilliant conversion from out wide by James Maloney.
The Roosters then created an opportunity off the kick off with play from one side of the field to the other being able to take them up to halfway before Shaun Kenny-Dowall offloaded straight to Tohu Harris seemingly giving Melbourne the win.
The final minute saw Melbourne kick another penalty goal to secure their 8 point win over the Sydney Roosters and break their three game slump.
Next week both sides have the luxury of having the bye although several players in both sides are expected to be selected in the State of Origin squads. In a fortnight, the Storm will be at home to the Cronulla Sharks, while the Sydney Roosters will visit the Parramatta Eels.