Melbourne has experienced the emotional extremes this week going into Friday’s eagerly-anticipated traditional NRL Anzac Day encounter with the Vodafone Warriors.
On Monday night the Storm stole a 28-24 win over St George Illawarra literally after the final siren had sounded.
But on Sunday they went from celebrating to suffering in their seventh-round away clash against Canberra.
They’d had the lead since Ryan Hinchcliffe’s try in the ninth minute and were poised for another tight win leading 22-18 heading into the last two minutes; they would have been further ahead but for some astounding try-saving defensive work by Jarrod Croker.
Then just when it seemed the Storm would give Canberra yet another home loss, the Raiders struck, Paul Vaughan scoring in the 79th minute and Croker converting for a famous 24-22 win.
The result continued a testing run for the Storm over the last four weeks which has seen them lose three times. After opening the season with one-point wins over Manly and Penrith followed by a 28-20 win against Newcastle they have lost 12-40 to Canterbury-Bankstown in Perth and 26-28 at home to Gold Coast before their two-point win over the Dragons and now today’s two-point loss to the Raiders.
Over the same period the Vodafone Warriors have also had a win and three losses.
They go into Friday’s contest as the holders of the Michael Moore Trophy after beating Melbourne 30-22 at Mount Smart Stadium last July.
Scores from the weekend so far in the NRL, NYC, New South Wales Cup and the English Super League plus the Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury competitions are:
NRL | South Sydney 14, Canterbury-Bankstown 15; Newcastle 6, Brisbane 32; Manly 26, North Queensland 21; St George Illawarra 20. Vodafone Warriors 10; Cronulla 18, Sydney Roosters 24; Canberra 24, Melbourne 22; Parramatta 18, Wests Tigers 21; Penrith 14, Gold Coast 12.
NYC | South Sydney 34, Canterbury-Bankstown 26; Newcastle 34, Brisbane 34; Manly 16, North Queensland 30; St George Illawarra 12. Vodafone Junior Warriors 36; Cronulla 24, Sydney Roosters 44; Canberra 28, Melbourne 22; Parramatta 58, Wests Tigers 20; Penrith 26, Gold Coast 6.
NEW SOUTH WALES CUP | Canterbury-Bankstown 6, Wests Tigers 40; North Sydney 14, Manly 42; Illawarra 28, Vodafone Warriors 35; Cronulla 46, Newtown 10; Wentworthville 54, Mounties 24; Newcastle 54, Wyong 6.
ENGLISH SUPER LEAGUE | Bradford 6, Leeds 46; London Broncos 22, Les Catalans 28; Hull Kingston Rovers 21, Hull FC 20; Warrington 44, Widnes 6; Wakefield 20, Castleford 43; Salford 22, Huddersfield 42; St Helens 14, Wigan 33; Les Catalans 37, Hull Kingston Rovers 24; Castleford 40, Warrington 6; Huddersfield 36, Wakefield 16; Hull FC 40, London Broncos 4; Leeds 32, Salford 4; Widnes 40, St Helens 26; Wigan 84, Bradford 6.
AUCKLAND | Appliance Shed Fox Memorial Premiership: Northcote Tigers 6, Pt Chevalier Pirates 46; Mt Albert Lions 56, Mangere East Hawks 6; Papakura Sea Eagles 10, Howick Hornets 22; Richmond Bulldogs 16, Otahuhu Leopards 40; Glenora Bears 16, Marist Saints 14. SAS Sharman Cup: Papatoetoe Panthers 42, Te Atatu Roosters 20; Manurewa Marlins 14, Bay Roskill Vikings 21; Manukau Magpies 12, East Coast Bays Barracudas 66; Otara Scorpions 32, New Lynn Stags 30; Waitemata Seagulls 48, Ellerslie Eagles 24. Mandron Masonry Phelan Shield: Glenfield Greyhounds 22, Navy Dolphins 42; Mt Wellington Warriors 22, Hibiscus Coast Raiders 18; Ponsonby Ponies 98, Pukekohe Pythons 6.
WELLINGTON | University Hunters 66, St George Dragons 12; Randwick Kingfishers 58, Upper Hutt Tigers 18; Te Aroha Eels 32, Porirua Vikings 20; Wainuiomata Lions 98, Petone Panthers 0