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Storm on top of NRL after beating Warriors

NZN 25/04/2017 Melissa Woods

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.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy praised his troops including Asofa-Solomona, who won the Spirit of Anzac Medal for best on ground.

Bellamy rated the performance as his team's most complete of the season.

"We were fortunate to get home in the end; we were probably a little bit better than them in the last 10 to 15 minutes and at the end of the day that's what swayed the game our way," Bellamy said.

"It was a tough game of footy."

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney said there were positives to take from the match despite the losing scoreline.

"I thought it was a wonderful effort by our lads, there's no doubt about that," Kearney said.

"To come down to the back end of the game was a real credit to our guys and the improvement is making sure we continue to do that and we come out the winners next time."

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