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Vodafone Warriors second rower Ryan Hoffman in his 250th NRL appearance taking on his old Melbourne side. Image |

Melbourne puit together a dominant perforamnce to reclaim the Michael Moore Trophy from the Vodafone Warriors at AAMI Park tonight.


2'00" | Good early sets, rolling forward well.

3'00" | Penalty five metres out, another set on attack but possession lost early in count spreading right.

12'00" | Billy Slater released, looks to be try-bound but is absolutely smashed by Manu Vatuvei coming across to make a stunning side-on tackle, knocking the ball loose and leaving Slater feeling the effects of a beastly pounding.

19'00" | Still 0-0. Storming carry by Hurrell but possession lost when he tries to off load over the top. 

20'00' | Try to Mahe Fonua. Will Chambers one-on-one with Kata, gets scragged and pops the ball back, Fonua collects, throws off Kata and runs through on the angle to score. Referee goes upstairs. Did Chambers' ball-carrying arm hit the ground? No. Try confirmed. Smith converted from wide out. Try followed a period in which the Vodafone Warriors had made a lot of play without being able to finish off.

Melbourne Storm 6, Vodafone Warriors 0  

24'00" | Another error although this one looked harsh. Was that really a forward pass from Thomas Leuluai to Sam Lisone? It gives the Storm an attacking set from 40 metres out.

28'00" | Ball put down again giving the Storm more possession in good field position.

30'00" | Johnson! Johnson! Gets clear, puts the foot down and sets up to beat Slater on the outside. Slater flicks out an arm, Johnson stumbles and loses the ball on contact with the ground. Slater is certainly playing injured.

31.00 | Another try for the Storm as they hit back immediately after the earlier error. Ball goes left to Marika Koroibete, steps off his left and explodes to the line. Smith converts.

Melbourne Storm 12, Vodafone Warriors 0

33'00" | Need to be the next to score now.

35'00" | This is a chance to mount some pressure, Melbourne making an error 30 metres out.

36'00" | Last tackle penalty for the Vodafone Warriors. Repeat set. This is the chance.

37'00" | TRY! Feed the Beast and look what happens. The Vodafone Warriors aim left on the repeat set from the penalty. Tuimoala Lolohea floats a long ball out to Manu Vatuvei on the left, he props, comes back at multiple defenders and drives over. Referee has it 'no try' but the video referees find evidence to overturn it. Great try from Vatuvei, the 138th of his career and his third of the season. Johnson's conversion drifts right.

Melbourne Storm 12, Vodafone Warriors 4


The Vodafone Warriors have made the break still in contact after Vatuvei's try late in the piece. The chief areas of concern have been their completion rate and errors. The statisticians have them down for eight errors in the first 40 metres while they've completed just 11 of 18 sets. For all that they've made real inroads when in possession.

Playing in the middle captain Simon Mannering has again shouldered much of the defensive workload making 25 tackles. Ben Matulino had been the standout ball-carrying forward on the park with 118 metres from 11 runs. Vatuvei hasn't had his hands on the ball much with just six carries but he has made 62 metres. His shot on Slater and his try were superb.


46'00" | Cooper Cronk-Billy Slater special. The chip kick play. Slater chases it down, bats it on, Proctor in the clear, draws the defence and gives Chambers Melbourne's third try of the night. Smith converts.

Melbourne Storm 18, Vodafone Warriors 4

52'00" | Johnson bombs to the right but Koroibete cleans it up under pressure, races back to the 20. Seven-tackle set but it breaks down with an error. Then the Vodafone Warriors make an error immediately to give the Storm another attacking set. They bomb it too, Fonua hemmed in on the touchline and putting the ball out on the full.

56'00" | Superb Johnson kick forces goal-line drop out. Great opportunity here. 

58'00" | TRY! Made the most of the goal-line drop out, building pressure. Driving towards the posts. Nathan Friend spots an opening from dummy half, goes at the wounded Slater and gets over for a rare try by the upright. Johnson converts and the margin is back to eight points.

Melbourne Storm 18, Vodafone Warriors 10 

62'00" | Killer blow for the Vodafone Warriors as the Storm hit back immediately. Koroibete breaks clear from deep defence but Johnson chases superbly to stop him. The spread to the right is on. Slater in possession, he holds up his pass sweetly and Tim Glasby scores. Smith converts.

Melbourne Storm 24, Vodafone Warriors 10

66'00" | TRY! Tit for tat. The Vodafone Warriors take the opportunity to return serve with a hit-back try of their own. Chad Townsend's grubber ricochets straight into Sebastine Ikahihifo's hands and he gets the ball down. Why did the referee have to check this? It was a try all day. Big moment for Ikahihifo, his first NRL try in his 31st appearance. Johnson fails to convert from a handy angle and the margin is now 10 points heading into the last 12 minutes.

Melbourne Storm 24, Vodafone Warriors 14

71'00" | Just as quickly the Storm extend again. Go to their left creating space for Koroibete to go down the left touchline and launch for a one-handed touchdown. Smith can't miss with another conversion from the sideline.

Melbourne Storm 30, Vodafone Warriors 14

All over. The Vodafone Warriors have been well beaten and have handed the Michael Moore Trophy back to Melbourne.


Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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