NYC Rd 19 Melbourne 32 North Qld 16
Melbourne Storm cashed in on some fundamental North Queensland Toyota Cowboys' errors to beat the visitors 32-16 in the round 19 Toyota Cup match at AAMI Park.by NRL
Melbourne Storm cashed in on some fundamental North Queensland Toyota Cowboys' errors to beat the visitors 32-16 in the round 19 Toyota Cup match at AAMI Park.
Trying to end a two-game losing streak, the Cowboys twice let their higher-placed opponents score on back-to-back sets and at times they found it impossible to contain centre Kirisome Auva'a, who collected four of the Storm's six tries.
Two of Melbourne's tries came from kicks that North Queensland fumbled, while there too many arm grabs in defence on a couple of other four-pointers.
The home team scored twice in the first 10 minutes but from then on, the Cowboys more than matched the Storm in general play.
A blindside play put on by hooker Alex Elisala and second-rower Tennyson Elliott created North Queensland's only try of the first half, to winger Rogan Dean in the 14th minute, although there were enough opportunities with the ball for the visitors to give them hope.
They went into half time 16-4 down and then scored first in the second half, via back-rower Corey Jensen, not long after a 50-metre kick return from fullback Zac Santo, to get themselves back into the contest.
Auva'a racked up his third and fourth tries on the Cowboys' right edge midway through the half to restore a healthy lead for Melbourne and the prospects of a runaway victory.
However when winger Javid Bowen, who was often dangerous for NQ, touched down in the left corner and Kyle Feldt added the conversion from the sideline, the Cowboys were within 12 with 19 minutes left.
The Storm only sealed the win in the 74th minute when Richard Kennar cleaned up a dropped high ball to extend the lead to 16.
Although he was unable to add to his competition-leading 15 tries, Santo was again exceptional for the Cowboys, while Daniel Beasley led all defenders with 46 tackles.
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