NRL Round 9 – Match 3 Results: Melbourne Storm 14 v Brisbane Broncos 36

Sunday afternoon’s match was the biggest upset win of the round as the struggling Broncos pulled out a season best performance to thrash the Storm 36 – 14 at Melbourne’s new home stadium AAMI Park in front of a 20,000 plus crowd.

The ease in which Brisbane won, outscoring the Storm six tries to three, shocked NRL fans across the country, so much so that even the game commentators choked when saying the half-time score was 24 – 4 in favour of the BRONCOS!

Brisbane had not won in Melbourne for seven long years and so not even the most dedicated of Brisbane supports could have picked the margin for this one, and we were left eating our words after predicting it was going to be “painful for the Brisbane fans.”

Everyone knew that playing for no points this season was going to wear thin for Melbourne, but they lost their passion a little earlier than most expected.

That is not to take anything away from the Brissie boys, the Storm still provided them with some strong competition and the Broncos played good footy to win this one. Also, the winning margin could have been far tighter had any one of the three disallowed tries by the Storm been awarded.

The win, the Broncos third of the season, has seen them sneak up to number 13 on the ladder and if they can keep up the same form from Sunday they could be the surprise of the season.

Two of Brisbane’s big stars, skipper Darren Lockyer and Sam Thaiday, were instrumental in the Broncos big win and showed no signs of weariness having also played a central role in Australia’s win over the Kiwis in Friday’s test match.

Melbourne on the other hand definitely felt the pressure of the start of rep footy, especially after they lost captain Cameron Smith who badly injured his elbow in the test match. Smith’s guidance and kicking skills were greatly missed on Sunday and his absence highlighted some of the Storm’s weaknesses.

Melbourne scored the first try just five minutes into the game when winger Anthony Quinn got over but without Smith and his great kicking they missed the conversion and lead by only four.

It was nearly 20 minutes before Brisbane opened their account and it was a controversial try that saw them get their first points on the board.

Jharal Yow Yeh got over in the 23rd minute and after going to the video ref it was found he hadn’t grounded the ball. However, because Billy Slater had thrown his foot into the try to dislodge the ball, an illegal move, Yo Yeh was awarded a penalty try and Corey Parker, who converted all six of the Broncos tries, was allowed to boot it from in front of the posts so Brisbane led 6 – 4.

Slater, one of the players backing up from the Aussie v Kiwi test match, was put on report for the move.

Having found some confidence the Broncos backed up just three minutes later when talented centre Israel Folau, currently in the middle of a code war for his services, side stepped Melbourne defenders with ease to get another converted try for his team.

The remainder of the first half went completely in the Broncos favour as they displayed form and skill previously unseen this season to score another two tries before the break.

First Gerard Beale scored his first NRL try in the 36th minute before Folau made it a match double three minutes later after running 60 metres down the field, again displaying some crafty footwork to pass Slater and score. The two kicks by Parker elevated the Broncos score to 24 points with the Storm 20 points behind at half-time.

Back from the break Matthew Duffie got over for the Storm in the 48th minute and Greg Inglis was able to convert to narrow their deficit to 14 points.

But the Broncos still had plenty of steam left in them and just over five minutes later Corey Norman got another four-pointer, followed by a final try from Ben Te’o in the 66th minute. The two second-half tries were converted by Parker giving Brisbane an impressive 36 points.

The score sat at 36 – 10 for the next 11 minutes before in the 77th minute Duffie completed his match double scoring a consolatory try for the Storm, but it was too late and Melbourne’s first game at AAMI Park was all over with fans asking where to next?