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Storm on top of NRL after beating Warriors

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/04/2017 Melissa Woods

Kieran Foran of the Warriors runs with the ball during the round eight NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia. © Scott Barbour/Getty Images Kieran Foran of the Warriors runs with the ball during the round eight NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne have returned to top spot on the NRL ladder after holding out the Warriors in an enthralling Anzac Day clash at AAMI Park.

Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr crossed in the 66th minute to give his side the lead for the first time, while Felice Kaufusi capped off the 20-14 victory when he barged over as the clock wound down.

It was Melbourne's seventh win in eight game this season, moving them two points clear of the chasing pack.

Last year the Warriors were trounced 42-0 in the same match but showed their intent from the opening whistle and David Fusitu'a collected his first try in the 10th minute.

The centre also touched down early in the second half in an impressive showing while five-eighth Kieran Foran was one of the Warriors' star performers as they took the lead four times during the match, only to be denied by the determined Storm.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy had warned of the dangerous Warriors spine and Foran, hooker Issac Luke, halfback Shaun Johnson and fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck matched the might of the Storm big guns in an absorbing contest.

Melbourne's Cameron Munster started at five-eighth for the first time this season, relegating Ryley Jacks to the bench, and proved a dangerous addition.

The teams went to halftime locked at 8-8 after giant Storm forward Nelson Asofa-Solomona barrelled across the line on the half-hour mark and the they traded late penalties.

Fusitu'a's second try broke the deadlock before Melbourne centre Will Chambers pushed his case for Test selection when he got outside Warriors second-rower Bodene Thompson to set up a try for Cooper Cronk.

The arm wrestle continued before the pressure from the Storm told on the tiring Warriors pack, with Addo-Carr finding one of the growing gaps to cash in before Kaufusi's 77th minute try.

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