On any given day, any Melbourne Storm player will rise up and perform. Last night, it was Harry Grant’s turn as they overpowered the Sydney Roosters.
Grant, Ryan Papenhuyzen, Cam Munster, and other Storm players all made their mark in the game of the round.
The defensive prowess of both sides was on display early and for much of the first half, as both sides felt each other out and assessed weaknesses.
There was an early scare right at the start when Papenhuyzen went up the tunnel for a HIA and clutching a shoulder.
In the end, it was just a burner and he passed his HIA and made his presence felt when it mattered.
The Storm had a chance to score in the first half with an extra man after Victor Radley was sin-binned but half-time margin was four points.
Two penalty goals from Papenhuyzen put the Storm up 4-0.
Eager to break the deadlock, it was Grant who made the impression.
A lovely pass out of dummy half found Jahrome Hughes who strolled over to score with ease.
It was fellow hooker Brandon Smith who would turn provider for the Storm’s second try as he found a hard-running Papenhuyzen to crash over.
Grant would seal the points when he threw the dummy, caught defenders off-guard, and burrowed over from dummy half.
A late consolation for the Roosters came when James Tedesco kicked crossfield for Matt Ikuvalu to score.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy praised both Grant and Smith for their efforts but knows the side still has improvement in them.
“Harry was wonderful for us last week and he was wonderful again tonight,” Bellamy said.
“But I thought Brandon played strong for us tonight and they did a real good job in the first 20 minutes of the second half when they were going in tandem.
“Our improvement can come from the combinations of those two guys with the rest of the team and particularly the spine and I think there are some good times ahead for this team.”
With their hooker stocks both depleted and struggling, Roosters coach Trent Robinson admitted the club was interested in union star TJ Perenara.
“We have talked, but it is preliminary at this stage,” Robinson said.
“We have had talks and we will see where it gets to.”
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Harry Grant (MEL)
2. Brandon Smith (MEL)
1. Christian Welch (MEL)