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Storm lead NRL ladder, beating Roosters

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/07/2016 Melissa Woods

Melbourne have maintained their charge for the NRL minor premiership with a classy 26-10 win over the Sydney Roosters at AAMI Park.

The victory gives Melbourne the provisional competition lead, although previous front-runners Cronulla have the chance to go two points clear again on Sunday afternoon when they host Newcastle.

Melbourne scored two late tries, through Tohu Harris and Kevin Proctor, that boosted the margin but the Storm were pushed for much of the match by the Roosters despite their contrasting ladder positions.

The last time the teams met, back in round 14, the Storm delivered the Roosters' worst loss of the season with a 46-0 shellacking.

But it took the visitors just four minutes to improve on that total with Blake Ferguson taking advantage of a kick ricocheting off Cameron Smith, which the fullback scooped up to score.

Melbourne hit back 10 minutes later with Dale Finucane running on to a Smith grubber into the in-goal and it was all square at 6-6.

The Storm skipper then used the ploy again, this time with Cooper Cronk taking the spoils for a 14-6 lead.

That was the margin until the 64th minute with the defence of both sides holding firm until Cronk found second-rower Proctor on the fly.

The Roosters had the last say with centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall able to ground a miracle ball in the dying minutes.

Compounding the misery for the Roosters, prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves limped off midway through the first half with a knee injury and failed to return.

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