Fulltime score: Round 12 Melbourne Storm 24 v St George Illawarra Dragons 16
Match summary: The Storm have ran out 24 - 16 winners over the Dragons at Olympic Stadium in Melbourne in a match that was marred by penalties, referee Russell Smith awarding over 20 penalties in 80 minutes of football.
The Storm got off to a good start to take the lead after nine minutes through a try to Matt King, the lanky centre barging over from dummy half.
The Dragons opened their account from a penalty goal to Naiqama in the 21st minute. But the Storm extended with their lead 10 minutes later when forward Glen Turner brushed aside some flimsy defence.
With the Storm enjoying the majority of possession, the Dragons managed to hit back again late in the second half and were trailing by only 10 - 8 at the break.
The Dragons started the second half in great fashion with the best try of the match to give Colin Best a double. But it came at a cost to the Dragons as Ben Hornby was hit by a Billy Slater sholuder charge and played no further part in the match.
The lead changed several times before the Storm finally got the upper hand in the 63rd minute when a Matt Orford try put the Storm in front.
The victory was sealed courtesy of a penalty goal to Cameron Smith in the 73rd minute after tempers started to fray from both sides.
Billy Slater had a great game for the Storm making plenty of breaks and also showing some great defence. Robbie Kearns did plenty of work while Matt King made some crucial runs late in the match to get the Storm out of danger.
Scorers: Melbourne Storm 24 Tries: King, Turner, Smith, Orford Goals: Orford 3/4, Smith 1/1 St George Illawarra 16 Tries: Best 2, Cooper Goals: Naiqama 2/5
Venue: Olympic Stadium Referee: Russell Smith Half time: Storm 10 - 8
Live commentary: An overcast day in Melbourne today. The Dragons have 5 players backing up from origin whilst the Storm have 2. The Dragons have been in great form winning 5 in a row, can the Storm bring to an end their winning run, they will have to improve on recent form.
1st min: Play underway. Dragons kicking off.
5th Min: NEWS. Scott Hill comes from the field with an ankle injury & looks unlikely to return. Matt Geyer comes into the five eight position.
9th Min: TRY - Storm Matt King darts out from dummy half to score from close range. Conversion unsuccessful from Orford from out wide Storm 4-0
12th Min: NEWS. Barrett kicks out on the full to give the Storm possession in good field position. Storm almost score after Orford grubbers into the in goal and Slater just fails to get the ball down in time.
16th Min: NEWS. Another penalty to the Storm. Penalty count 4-0. The Storm have had all the ball in Dragons territory so far.
20th Min: NEWS. The referee is trying to even up the penalty count giving the Dragons the last 3 penalty's.
21st Min: PENALTY GOAL - Dragons From the ensueing penalty Wes Naiqama converts from in front. Storm 4-2
26th Min: NEWS. The referee is going to blow the pea out of the whistle. Penalty count Storm 5- Dragons 4.
31st Min: NEWS. The referee warns both the captains that he will sin bin players if the infringements continue to come.
32nd Min: TRY - Storm Glen Turner receives a flat pass close to the line which see's him go through some flimsy defence to score. Orford is successful with the kick Storm 10 - 2
35th Min: TRY - Dragons Mark Gasnier draws the winger to put Colin Best into the gap and he outsprints Billy Slater to score out wide. Conversion unsuccessful from Naiqama Storm 10 - 6
37th Min: NEWS. Slater knocks on from a kick to give the Dragons a good chance to level up right before halftime.
39th Min: PENALTY GOAL - Dragons Slater is penalised for a high tackle on Ryles. Conversion successful from Naiqama Storm 10 - 8
The Storm have had the best of possession & field position for the majority of the first half but poor last tackle options have cost them more tries. To the Dragons credit they started to make some inroads into the Storm defence in the last 10 minutes and were looking the better of the 2 teams going into the sheds at the break. A great second half awaits.
41st Min: Second half underway. Storm kicking off. Scott Hill returns to the bench or the second half.
43rd Min: NEWS. A great kick return from Billy Slater from his own tryline to make it to the halfway.
47th Min: TRY - Dragons A great try to the Dragons after Hornby goes through the gap and passes to Gasnier who gives it off to Best who has to much pace to score out wide. Ben Hornby is down injured after receiving a big shoulder from Billy Slater and has hit his head on the ground and he leaves the field. Conversion unsuccessful from Naiqama Dragons 12 - 10
54th Min: TRY - Storm Cameron Smith goes from dummy half to get through some soft defence to score next to the post Conversion successful from Orford Storm 16 - 12
59th Min: TRY - Dragons Matt Cooper scores out wide for the Dragons after they spread the ball wide and create an overlap. Cooper did well to get the ball down inside the touchline. conversion unsuccessful from Naiqama 16 all.
62nd Min: NEWS. The refereee continues to give away a heap of penalties.
63rd Min: TRY - Storm Matt Orford steps through some tired defence to score under the posts. Conversion successful from Orford Storm 22 - 16
67th Min: NEWS. Off to the Video ref possible try to Dragons NO TRY - 20 metre restart.
68th Min: NEWS. Orford kicks out on the full from the restart to give the Dragons good field position.
72nd Min: NEWS. Shaun Timmins starts throwing punches to give away a silly penalty. Another fight nearly breaks out after another tackle for lifting the attacker over the horizontal.
73rd Min: PENALTY GOAL - Storm Cameron Smith converts from the penalty to give them the game. Storm 24 - 16
The Storm have run out 24 - 16 winners in a match marred by penalties. The referee had to give away 24 penalties in a match that turned spiteful towards the end as the match started to get away from the Dragons.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - B Slater (Storm) 2 - R Kearns (Storm) 1 - M King (Storm) -----------------------------------------