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Rain-soaked Melbourne Storm beat New Zealand Warriors

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/03/2017 Angelo Risso

Melbourne have defeated the Warriors 26-10 in torrential rain in Auckland, getting their NRL campaign off to a two-from-two start. © Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images Melbourne have defeated the Warriors 26-10 in torrential rain in Auckland, getting their NRL campaign off to a two-from-two start. Melbourne have outclassed the Warriors 26-10 in a rain-drenched NRL tussle in Auckland.

Both sides put up a solid showing on Friday evening in atrocious conditions at Mount Smart Stadium, with neither outfit genuinely controlling the game.

But the Storm were ruthless in their execution, notching four tries to two and grinding down a Warriors side missing a concussed Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

The Warriors struggled early for the second consecutive week in Auckland, allowing Melbourne to dominate the opening proceedings.

Last year's grand finalists scored with their first genuine attack in the seventh minute through Kenny Bromwich, before having another ruled out three minutes later.

The disallowed try appeared to stir the Warriors from their early slumber, as they pulled an equalising try from nowhere in the 14th minute.

After throwing the ball around on the fifth tackle, five-eighth Ata Hingano put up a cross-field kick which fell kindly for Shaun Johnson to send Tui Lolohea over.

Another try followed three minutes later, as centre Solomone Kata collected a dropped Storm ball and palmed off to Johnson to go over the line.

The Warriors were put under the pump in response but showed encouraging resilience in defence, with Simon Mannering and Bunty Afoa making 24 tackles apiece.

Only a fortunate try to Storm centre Cheyse Blair could breach the Warriors' rear-guard before halftime, as Lolohea slipped while mopping up a Cooper Cronk grubber.

Down 12-10 at the break, the Warriors' uphill climb was made all the more difficult by the loss of star fullback Tuivasa-Sheck.

The skipper's absence was immediately felt as Vunivalu went over within three minutes of the restart, before a Kata try was disallowed for a knock-on.

Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr then had his own four-pointer controversially ruled out for obstruction, keeping the Warriors in the hunt.

Despite the lifeline, the Warriors couldn't force their way back into the match, huffing and puffing before a late Cronk try killed off the contest.

Having both won their first-round fixtures, the Storm can look ahead to next week's tussle with Brisbane, while the Warriors - to be boosted by an anticipated Kieran Foran return - play Canterbury.

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