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Storm upset by Raiders 24-20

Canberra Raiders celebrate a try

Melbourne's first loss of the NRL season had been three games in the making according to Storm coach Craig Bellamy.
Storm upset by Raiders 24-20
by AAP

By Melissa Woods

MELBOURNE, May 4 AAP - Melbourne's first loss of the NRL season had been three games in the making according to Storm coach Craig Bellamy.

The Storm's unbeaten run came to a crashing halt with Canberra upsetting the NRL champions 24-20 at AAMI Park on Saturday.

With live-wire centre Blake Ferguson leading the charge with two first half tries, the Raiders survived a late Storm revival for a well-deserved victory.

The loss ended the Storm's winning streak at 15 straight with Bellamy saying their "luck" had run out.


"They were a lot more committed and determined than us," Bellamy said of Canberra, who have now won their past three in succession at the Storm's fortress.

"This has been coming; our past three home games have been like this and we've only really started playing when we've got into trouble.

"We were probably a little bit lucky against the Tigers and the Warriors and perhaps our luck ran out."

Ferguson scored all of his side's first half points with the teams locked 12-12 at the break, the Storm paying the price for some uncharacteristically poor discipline.

Raiders centre Jack Wighton chimed in and then electric fullback Reece Robinson dashed 70 metres to touch down to open up a 24-12 lead.

The Storm hit back when halfback Cooper Cronk put a flat kick across field that Mahe Fonua fed back to Justin O'Neill, with the centre managing to get the ball across the line in the 58th minute.

Fonua also got in on the action four minutes later when Ryan Hoffman batted another Cronk kick back in-field for the winger to touch down to close the gap to the final margin of four points.

It was one of the few bright notes for O'Neill and Fonua, with the Storm's right flank repeatedly exposed by Ferguson and fellow speedster Edrick Lee.

The left side, with Will Chambers and Sisa Waqa was almost as frail.

"We were pretty poor on our edges and that's something we'll have to really work hard on," said Bellamy.

The Raiders, in contrast, were delighted with skipper Terry Campese in disbelief at knocking off the Storm.

The effort was all the more special with Canberra missing a swag of injured regulars and then losing forwards Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (foot) and Joe Picker (concussion) early in the match while hooker Glen Buttriss played with a fractured finger.

Picker returned late in the game when they were out on their feet.

"It was definitely up there with one of the best I've been involved with," Campese said.

"We've got to learn now that we can match it with the best sides.

"We just knocked Melbourne off their perch and we've got to take confidence from that."

Learoyd-Lahrs will undergo further testing on nerve damage in his foot, which coach David Furner described as "drop foot"


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