Fulltime score: Round 7 Raiders 10 v Storm 46
Match summary: Melbourne has lashed Canberra by 46-10 today in a game the home side would rather forget. Already missing playmakers Jason Smith and Simon Woolford, the Raiders lost fullback Clinton Schifcofske just after halftime and with that went any chance of preserving dignity on the scoreboard. He could be out for up to a month with a sternum/rib injury.
The early exchanges proved fruitful for the Storm, laying on two tries through reliable five-eighth Scott Hill (6th minute) who then set-up perpetual scoring freak Billy Slater in the 10th minute. However Queensland fullback aspirant Clinton Schifcofske found space down the left wing with a damaging run and in the 17th minute showed a clean pair of heels to outclass the Melbourne defence close to the line.
There was punch and counter-punch from both sides as the game went into the second quarter, with big centre Matt King barging over for the Storm in the 31st minute. Following that his opposing number Adam Mogg found space and bagged a determined try just before halftime, with the score at 16-10 to the visitors at the break.
But the second half was all one-way traffic, with the Raiders failing to post a point and the Storm piling on another five tries with some impressive displays by the team as a whole and also the goal-kicking which was quite often from difficult positions.
Orford did a great job steering the team around and Slater was back to his flashy best, picking up a double. The news got worse for the Raiders who may be without Schifcofske for a while and they certainly lacked that extra dimension to their play when he left the field.
Scorers: RAIDERS Tries: Schifcofske, Mogg Goals: Schifcofske 1/2 STORM Tries: Slater 2, King 2, Hill, Webster, Geyer, Hoffman Goals: Smith 3/4, Orford 4/5
By the clock:
And we're underway through the boot of Schifcofske for the Raiders!
Feeney is on the bench for the Storm after overcoming an injury.
6 min: TRY - Storm. Scott Hill goes himself from close range like he does so often. Gritty effort from the Melbourne five-eighth. Smith converts and takes the lead to 6-0 in favour of the visitors.
10 min: TRY - Storm. Slater scores after Orford strectches the line then gives it to Hill who finds the speedy fullback on the inside. Great play. Smith fails with the conversion. Storm lead 10-0.
14 min: Some great work from the Schif down the left side saw Canberra pressure the Storm's line before being held out. Shaping as a great contest this one with plenty of attractive footy being played.
17 min: TRY - Raiders. Schifcofscke scores with some nimble footwork close to the line. The Raiders are troubling the Storm with their unorthodox attacking methods. The Schif converts his own try and the score is 10-6 to the Storm.
25 min: Some end to end play has allowed for great footy here today. Both teams just sorting one another out in the forwads right now.
31 min: TRY - Storm. Matt King sacores from a run-around play on the left side of the ground. A bit ugly looking but it's 4 points. Orford steps up and kicks the goal. Storm lead 16-6.
34 min: Video referee denies Schifcofske a second try after he grubbered through into the in-goal and chased. Replays tend to suggest he applied downward pressure in some form or another.
38 min: TRY - Raiders. Mogg scores down the right flank for the home side after sustained pressure to the Storm. Schifcofske misses a difficult attempt, a stiff breeze down here today. Storm lead 16-10.
Half time: The Storm are ahead here on the board but the Raiders are playing good footy and keeping in touch with them. One gets the feeling that this game is waiting for someone to grab it by the scruff of the neck and take control. Possession has been fairly evenly split so the second half should make for great viewing.
And we're underway in the second half through the boot of the Storm!
44 min: TRY- Storm. Slater picks up a loose kick close to the line and scoots over. A bit soft really. Orford converts from right in front and the Storm lead 22-10
50 min: TRY - Storm. King barges over again with the Storm slowly gripping this game whilst the Raiders miss opportunities. Orford hits the upright and fails to add the extras. Storm lead 26-10.
54 min: PENALTY GOAL - Storm. Cameron Smith pots an easy one after Mat Adamson belted Matt Orford who tried to grubber through and regather. Storm 28 Raiders 10.
NEWS: Schifcofske off the field after damaging either his sternum or rib cartilage area.
60 min: TRY - Storm. Melbourne running away with it here after a great wrap-around finds Webster on the wing who scores easily then crashes into a photographer. Funny stuff, not so for the Raiders though who are getting a real touch-up here. Smith kicks a difficult one and the Storm lead 34-10.
74 min: TRY - Storm. Matt Geyer completes the rout with a clever try off a kick through into the in-goal area. Orford converts and the score is Melbourne 40 Canberra 10.
77 min: TRY - Storm. Hoffman goes over out wide after good hands from Orford and Geyer. Raiders are looking very long in the face and can't wait till fulltime. Orford converts and is having a wonderful day with the boot. Storm 46 Raiders 10.
Full time: And the Storm walk away convincing winners here today, with a much needed win after two consecutive losses.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - M Orford (Storm) 2 - B Slater (Storm) 1 - C Schifcofske (Raiders) -----------------------------------------