Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"We'll blow the others off the ground..."



CLAIMS and counter-claims about the validity of a lopsided penalty count last night couldn't cloud the fact the Storm can't be beaten by 60 minutes of good football.
Wests Tigers took to AAMI Park with what Storm coach Craig Bellamy said was a clear plan to slow his team down and for two-thirds of the game it worked.
But when the home side finally fired up, the visitors' game plan unravelled as the premiership favourites romped home.
After falling behind twice, Melbourne rallied to secure a club-record 13th straight win, 26-12.
And Bellamy hoped the 14-7 penalty count, which cruelled the Tigers in the final 20 minutes, would sound a warning to any rivals who thought they knew the way to bring down the Storm.
"The Tigers came here to play a slow game. The rucks were as slow as we've had all year," Bellamy said. "I didn't know the (penalty) count, but we got some in the second half. Perhaps we could have got some more.
"I know everyone is going to be saying that's how you beat the Melbourne Storm.
"If that's what they want to do we have to trust the referees that if they want to slow us down in the ruck and they do have hands on the ball, we are going to get penalties.
"We are not going to change."
The feeling was the reverse in the Tigers rooms, where coach Mick Potter hinted the "adversity" his team had to overcome wasn't as much about what Melbourne was doing with the football.
"The influence people have over other people to cause results, we just couldn't withstand that pressure," he said.
"There is a lot of influence from senior guys and I just don't think we get the rub of the green sometimes. Different people have different influences. It does effect what happens out there."
or all the bluster about penalties, Potter conceded his men had to learn to play for 80 minutes, having twice secured six-point leads on Melbourne.
In the first half especially the Tigers were more energetic and more efficient.
But that didn't result in any more than a single first-half try, which was matched by Melbourne just before half-time.
A blast from Bellamy at half-time didn't spark Melbourne straight away and again the Tigers scored first as they put the Storm under pressure with kicks.
While it took 20 minutes for Bellamy's men to fully respond, when they did they were hard to stop.
Down 12-6 and on the back foot with an hour gone, Melbourne seized on a penalty against former Storm boy Adam Blair.
The Tigers prop was put on report for pulling the leg of Kevin Proctor, and from the next play Melbourne worked their best move of the night for Mahe Fonua to score in the left corner.
Scores were level and from the restart Melbourne worked the ball to halfway before an unforgivable miss by Tigers winger James Tedesco allowed Storm centre Will Chambers into space.
All he had to do was to pass left and Cooper Cronk took the ball to score, and put Storm up for the first time.
Returning winger Sisa Waqa put the icing on the cake with a double-pump effort that confounded Tedesco, and the Fijian flyer raced 30m to put the game out of the Tigers' reach.
The Storm now play South Sydney in a top-of-the-table clash at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
MELBOURNE 26 (C Cronk M Fonua S Vave S Waqa tries C Smith 4 G Widdop goals) bt WESTS TIGERS 12 (B Marshall J Tedesco tries B Anasta 2 goals) at AAMI Park. Referee: Jason Robinson, Adam Gee. Crowd: 18,866.



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