In one of the games of the season, a penalty goal in golden point proved the difference as the Melbourne Storm defeated the Sydney Roosters.
With a rivalry forming between the two sides recently, the game started with a very high intensity and teams were going set for set.
Both teams were battling hard for field position and it was the Roosters who would pounce first.
Justin Olam made an error by knocking on 30 m out from his own goal line.
Wiley veteran winger Brett Morris was very quick to retrieve the loose ball to off-load a great ball to Flanagan to race over to score.
Flanagan converted his own try for the Tricolours to take the early lead and put the Roosters up 6-0.
Flanagan then became a bit of a villain, with an errant pass picked off by Josh Addo-Carr who saw open space and ran 45 m to score.
Addo-Carr continued his great strike rate of scoring tries at Suncorp. He has now scored a try in his last 6 matches there and his 10th career try at the venue.
As Smith converted to make it six all, the intensity and physicality was reminiscent of an Origin match.
Despite pressure on Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen, he rose to the challenge every time.
The Roosters offloads were creating havoc for the Storm defensive which allowed Luke Keary to weave his magic.
The Roosters resiliency in defence suffocated the Storm attack at times and it proved important late in the first half.
Veteran Roosters centre Josh Morris crossed for his 140th NRL try.
Keary nailed a cross field kick form Daniel Tupou to take out of the air.
The high-flying Tupou offloaded a pass around the back of himself for Morris to show great body strength to score in the corner.
Flanagan slotted the goal from the sideline to take the Roosters out to a 12-6 lead.
Heading into the break with the Roosters up 12-6, the match was evenly poised to be a spectacle.
The second half began and it was Roosters co-captain Boyd Cordner with an speculative pass in his own half.
The pass was intercepted by Tom Eisenhuth who got the ball to Storm halfback Jahrome Hughes.
Hughes evaded some Roosters defenders and ran 40 m to score for his team and draw first blood in the second half.
Cameron Smith again converted to tie the game up at 12-a-piece.
As the team’s big men tried to stamp their authority on the game, the physicality intensified.
Showing just how good they have been in their careers, Brett Morris scored for a total of 300 NRL tries between he and his brother.
Aback line shift and a great pass from Angus Crichton saw Morris score in the corner to record his 160th NRL try.
Flanagan was great with the boot and converted the try to put the Roosters up 18-12.
Josh Morris would then bag his second on the back of great lead-up from Keary and his brother Brett.
The play started from his brother Brett who made a great run to get Keary over the advantage line to find Josh Morris out the outside to score.
Flanagan missed the conversion for the Roosters to lead 22-12 with 30 minutes to go.
From the restart, the Storm got a penalty for a player being taken out.
A few tackles later, Hughes scored a double after a good pass by Cameron Smith and a lead up run by Brandon Smith.
Hughes used good footwork to score under the posts, Smith slotted the conversion and the Roosters led 24-18.
A Daniel Tupou error late on would prove costly and ultimately levelled things up.
The dropped ball was scooped up by Hughes who threw a basketball type pass for Paul Momirovski to score the Storm’s 2nd try in 3 minutes.
He beat Josh Morris with a right foot step and also beat Keary close to the line for the Storm to take the lead 24-22 after Cameron Smith converts the goal after the ball coming off the upright.
With the game drawing to a close, a bad defensive decision by Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu to tackle a player without the ball was penalised.
Flanagan was ready to step up to the plate and made no mistake, slotting the penalty to make it 24-all.
With a minute remaining on the clock, the Roosters got in good field position from a Tedesco run.
Keary, the Clive Churchill medallist from last year’s Grand Final slotted a field goal from 32m out.
This was his 4th career field goal and 3rd against the Storm.
From the kick-off restart, Tupou jumps up to retrieve the ball, lost it and the Storm retrieved the ball for one final crack.
An unlikely hero in Ryan Papenhuyzen was there when it mattered, slotting a pressure field goal to force golden point.
This was the first field goal of his career.
In the end, the Roosters were their own worst enemy when it mattered most.
A Boyd Cordner error in his own half coupled with a silly penalty given away by Jake Friend and it would be all she wrote.
From right in front, Smith slotted the easy penalty goal for the Storm to take the win 27-25.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy praised his side’s effort and resiliency.
“It makes me real proud of them,” Bellamy said.
Having said that, had we been beaten by 10 points, I still would have been fairly proud of them.
“We got 10 behind against a team that has been head and shoulders above every other team since the break.
“So it would have been easy for our blokes to say it was going to be too hard.”
Despite an ankle injury to Daniel Tupou, Keary knows the side has the players in their arsenal to still compete.
“We have dealt with this the last few years where we have had people out all the time,” Keary said.
“Last year we got out full squad for the first time on grand final day,” Keary said.
“To lose the two boys last week with ACLs was devastating for them but you can’t dwell on it.”
NRL News Player of the Game
3 – Jahrome Hughes
2- Luke Keary
1 – Brandon Smith