With the NRL working in mysterious ways, it was the struggling side that came into their own, and defeated the red-hot side. That is, the New Zealand Warriors defeated the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park, 18-14.
The loss would have come as a surprise to many, given that Melbourne had not lost a game in Melbourne in their last 10 games, dating back to Rd 14 last year.
In what was a record crowd for AAMI Park at 22,694 – they were treated to a hard-fought yet rather entertaining match, as the Storm threw everything they could at the Warriors in the last few minutes, but could not penetrate the line.
It was the high ball, and constant high kicks from the Warriors halves that really put the Storm backs under pressure, with Matt Duffie the main culprit – though surprisingly, given that he is normally safe at the back, Billy Slater also struggled.
Bellamy conceded that his side “got what they deserved”, and was displeased at their ball control in the first half.
“We lost the game in the first half” he said.
“We got off to a really good start and some of the guys thought, ‘We’re in for an easy night here’.
“Our defence there for a long period of time … wasn’t committed at all.
“We had our chances at the end but we probably didn’t deserve it after the way we defended in the first half.”
Whilst he could not quite put a finger on it, Warriors coach Ivan Cleary pointed out that his side just felt comfortable in travelling to Melbourne, and it showed.
He was also over the moon with their defensive efforts, especially when they managed to prevent the Storm from scoring when they were under pressure in the second half.
“They were winning the arm wrestle in terms of field position in the second half … they did throw plenty at it but we kept turning up,” Cleary said.
“Hopefully it’s something we can build on.”
Dally Â M Points
3 James Maloney
2 Krisnan Inu
1 Lewis Brown