Well, he just put in an absolute stinker of a kick but Josh Addo-Carr has just bagged his second try, ranging up on the outside of Cameron Munster, who turned a lazy David Fifita inside out with a break inside his own half. That’s the difference between the two teams’ main men tonight; Munster brilliant and Fifita not so much.
Ryan Papenhuyzen’s conversion is much better this time and it’s now 34-16 inside the last nine minutes.
This game is as good as over and Craig Bellamy’s side will equal the record of the all-conquering Roosters 1975 side with their 19th straight win. What a remarkable team.
Josh Addo-Carr has just put in a kick on a botched last-tackle play which has gone 15 metres backwards, but somehow the Storm make something of it when the bouncing ball finds Ryan Papenhuyzen and he then kicks in goal for his teammates to trap Patrick Herbert. It’s all going one-way at the moment.
Inside the final 11 minutes with the Storm up by 12.
It’s just about party time for Melbourne…
That might just be enough for the record and the killer blow on the Titans, who have tried very hard tonight.
The Storm put on a shift to the left, Cameron Munster and Ryan Papenhuyzen combining again before Josh Addo-Carr jinks back infield into space to set up the supporting Nicho Hynes. That’s a five-star try from an all-star cast. So good to watch.
Papenhuyzen adds the extras and it’s 28-16 with 17 minutes left.
Is there any way back for the Gold Coast?
We’ve just about seen it all in this game, and Jayden Campbell’s brilliant pick-up on his own line to defuse a Harry Grant kick is undone when his play-the-ball is to … no-one.
Kenny Bromwich pounces on it and only takes a few plays later for Josh Addo-Carr to score, Cameron Munster and Ryan Papenhuyzen combining to put the winger over for arguably his easiest try of the year.
I asked at half-time who would step up for the Storm? I think we have our answer: C Munster. What a player when he’s in the mood. And he’s showing all the attributes of a leader tonight, too, being very vocal on the field.
Ryan Papenhuyzen doesn’t have any more Cirque du Soleil tricks for us with his conversion attempt skewed badly wide. Melbourne still lead 22-16 with 21 minutes left.
I said in the first half we might have seen the softest high tackle penalty since 1975, but we may have a new clubhouse leader. Tyrone Peachey has just been penalised for a tackle on Ryan Papenhuyzen after the Melbourne No.1 caught a high ball. I’m not even sure he touched him with his arm, let alone contact him in the head. Absolutely bizarre.
“Are you serious? This is a gee-up,” Paul Vautin laughs in commentary.
That didn’t take long, did it?
Cameron Munster catches his State of Origin teammate David Fifita a little slow to get back on his own try-line in defence, the Melbourne five-eighth latching onto a Harry Grant ball and diving low at Fifita’s legs and sliding over. He’s now laying down the law to his teammates, too.
Ryan Papenhuyzen’s conversion from the sideline has, I kid you not, bounced off the crossbar and through the posts. When do you see that? Anyway, the Storm have the lead back 18-16 six minutes into the second half.
Injury update: Melbourne winger George Jennings is out for the game after aggravating a knee problem. Chris Lewis is manning a centre position, shuffling Reimis Smith out to the wing. Craig Bellamy’s outside backs stocks are starting to get a little thin.
The Titans are just 40 minutes away from preserving 46 years of rugby league history by denying the Melbourne Storm a 19th straight win. They can’t do it, surely?
Jayden Campbell gets us back underway in the second half.
Well, that was some half of football. Who is going to drag the Storm back into it? Harry Grant? Ryan Papenhuyzen? Cameron Munster? Insert x star here?
No wonder the Titans have a lead, albeit narrow one, when you look at the stats. Justin Holbrook’s side has had 62 per cent of possession and have completed at 86 per cent compared to Melbourne’s 71 per cent.
Greg Marzhew has been great on the wing for the Titans with a team-high 114 metres, while Tino Fa’asuamaleaui has 19 tackles. For the Storm, Ryan Papenhuyzen is starting to look like the player we know he is with 129 metres and Harry Grant has 30 tackles to go with his try.
Will the Roosters’ record of 19 straight wins, set when colour television came into existence in 1975, stand on its own? We’re about to find out.