Poms in Oz: Widdop guides Storm to pole position

Gareth Widdop’s Melbourne Storm squared up to Jack Reed’s Brisbane Broncos, with the Storm securing a 34-10 win.

The match saw the league’s top two sides go head-to-head in the aftermath of the first State of Origin match, but Brisbane were missing several of their Origin stars.

Justin Hodges, Sam Thaiday and Petero Civoniceva all sat out while Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith all backed up for the Storm.

After Melbourne put the early scores on the board through Todd Lowrie, converted by Widdop, Reed posted the Broncos’ first try of the game half way through the second half.

It wasn’t until the 35th minute when Melbourne opened the flood gates. Lowie grabbed another, also converted by Widdop, before Will Chambers closed the half to give the Storm a 16-6 lead.

Widdop converted both of Slater’s tries in the second half, putting Brisbane out of reach from making a comeback.

Ben Te’o brought some consolation to the Brisbane team, before Justin O’Neill put Melbourne back into a comfortable lead which they hung onto.

While Widdop and Reed did battle at AAMI Park, South Sydney with Sam and Luke Burgess were cruising to victory at ANZ Stadium on Friday night defeating Canberra 36-18.

Luke made a starting appearance at prop forward, while Sam started in his usual number 12 jersey.

Sam made a total of 18 ball carries, more than any other player in the game, as brotherly love was displayed as Luke clashed with David Shillington

Shillington shoulder charged Luke off a loose ball in the 67th minute, and was subsequently penalised. However Sam over reacted and came running in to support his brother despite the handbags which ensued for a moment afterwards.

Chris Heighington’s return from injury was incident free, but the loose forward impressed making three tackle offloads, the most from any player on the pitch.

Tim Moltzen scored tries three minutes into the match and three minutes before the end to give Wests a 26-18 win over North Queensland. 

Lote Tuqiri and Benji Marshall sandwiched touch downs in between for the Tigers, while consolation tries from Glenn Hall, Antonio Winterstein and Ashley Graham went the Cowboys’ way.

Gareth Ellis remains injured for the Tigers, but is expected to make a final return before the end of the season prior to heading for Hull FC next season.

James Graham ran through 57 minutes of the Bulldogs’ 30-12 win over Sydney Roosters. The England international prop impressed with his work rate running in with the ball 18 times in that period. 

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