Rugby League

Storm steal late victory to deny Dogs comeback

April 12, 2024 9:28 pm

[Source: NRL]

Melbourne have stormed home once again to snatch a late 16-14 victory over the Bulldogs at AAMI Park on Friday.

Trailing by 4 points after a Josh Addo-Carr hat-trick put the Bulldogs on track for a Round 6 upset, Melbourne dug deep to send new recruit Shawn Blore over for a 75th minute match-winner.

Coming from behind to also steal victories from the Warriors and Broncos at home this season, Craig Bellamy’s men once again defended their fortress to overcome Canterbury’s comeback.

Article continues after advertisement

After coming up with a one-on-one steal to hand his side a chance on the line, fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen opened up the scoring for Melbourne after finding space close to the line.

The Bulldogs looked to hit back in the 12th minute through Addo-Carr in the left corner however the try was denied with the winger just scraping the touch line.

Come the 24th minute and Xavier Coates added another freakish play for the season, reeling in a Jahrome Hughes kick before punting a grubber through defenders for Reimis Smith to crash over the line.

Nick Meaney’s conversion was wide, but Melbourne still took a 10-0 lead into the break.

After Connor Tracey came up with a big play in their own in-goal to get the Dogs’ out of danger, the visitors were finally on the board when Addo-Carr found space in the next play and raced downfield to land his first try for the season.

It was worrying signs for the Bulldogs after rookie forward Sam Hughes was put in the bin for making contact with Christian Welch’s head on the ground but the disadvantage didn’t last long with Papenhuyzen also sent for 10 after taking out Stephen Crichton off the ball.

But it was the Bulldogs who capitalised first, with the ‘Foxx’ crossing for a double after another silky pass from Xerri on the inside to blow the game wide open 10-10 with 14 minutes to play.

Just five minutes later and the Bulldogs hit the lead when Addo-Carr made it a hat-trick thanks to a perfectly waited ball from Matt Burton.

Despite being outplayed for majority of the second half, the Storm switched on when it mattered most and stole back the lead with five minutes to play, sending Blore over for his second-ever NRL try.