On Thursday night at CommBank Stadium, the Melbourne Storm defeated Parramatta 16-12 in golden point to extend their coach Craig Bellamy’s round one winning streak to 20 games. Despite losing key players to injury, including Cameron Munster with a dislocated finger and Xavier Coates with a shoulder injury, the Storm managed to break the 12-12 deadlock and secure the victory when Harry Grant scored next to the posts.
Under Bellamy’s leadership, the Storm have never lost an opening round match, making this win particularly significant given the loss of several star players in the off-season. The game started with Parramatta taking the lead in the fifth minute through a penalty goal by Mitch Moses after Eliesa Katoa was penalized for a late contact on the Eels halfback.
Despite some slick ball movement by the Eels and opportunities for Maika Sivo and Isaac Lumelume, the Storm defense managed to scramble well and deny any tries. Sivo did get across the line in the 17th minute, but the try was disallowed for a forward pass from Dylan Brown.
Parramatta had a chance to extend their lead with a penalty, but they opted for a tap instead and couldn’t convert. In the 28th minute, the Storm suffered a big blow when Cameron Munster was forced off with a serious finger injury, but he returned after halftime and helped his team score their first try in the 47th minute.
The Eels responded quickly, scoring a try through Will Penisini in the 30th minute and then another through Junior Paulo in the 58th minute after a big play by Sivo. But the Storm hit back through Young Tonumaipea after a brilliant lead-up by Munster to level the scores at 12-12.
With six minutes to play, a mistake by Tyran Wishart gave Parramatta a chance to win the game, but Sivo kicked the ball dead on tackle one. The game went to golden point, and after Nick Meaney missed his attempt at a one-point field goal, Harry Grant scored to seal the win for the Storm in a high-quality contest.