Melbourne Storm player, Justin Olam, may miss the first round of the season due to a suspected broken arm he sustained during his team’s 32-24 loss against the Sydney Roosters in Geelong on Sunday. The PNG international left the field in the early stages of the game, causing concern for the Storm camp.
On the same day, the Roosters introduced their new signing, Brandon Smith, who faced his former club. However, he did not take the field until the second half as Roosters coach Trent Robinson chose to give some younger players a chance to shine during the club’s first Pre-season Challenge match.
The Storm started the scoring when Bronson Garlick, their hooker, made a break and found Tyran Wishart who crossed for the first try. The Roosters quickly responded with converted tries from Elie El-Zakhem, a Lebanon international, and Tyler Moriarty, a former NSW Under 19 representative.
However, a mistake from Ethan King gave the Storm’s winger, Will Warbrick, an opportunity to level the scores with an easy try. Jake Turpin then put the Roosters back in front with a perfectly weighted kick that set up William Fakatoumafi for a try, leading 18-12 at halftime.
In the second half, the Roosters quickly extended their lead with Sam Walker putting Jaxson Paulo through for his first try with the club. Hooker Brandon Smith and Victor Radley then combined to put experienced lock, Victor Radley, under the posts, further increasing the Roosters’ lead.
However, the Storm staged a comeback with a try from Sualauvi Faalogo who cleaned up a loose ball and ran the length of the field to score. Another try from Grant Anderson kept the Storm in the game, but the Roosters sealed the win with a Junior Pauga try in the 78th minute.