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Storm devour Dogs - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Tue, 15 May 2007 00:25:00 GMT
The Melbourne Storm welcomed Monday night rugby league action with open arms by orchestrating a dominant 38-14 win against the Bulldogs.
Halfback Cooper Cronk starred in front of over 14,000 fans, setting up two tries of high kicks to ensure the Storm remain on top of the NRL ladder.
After being without its coach and a number of key players in recent weeks due to representative commitments, a Monday night game was just the tonic to refocus the Storm for this important encounter.
"We had a really good week of preparation," said coach Craig Bellamy.
"The players, to their credit, were switched on from the first session and they trained great all week.
"The loss to the Tigers stung us a bit last week and we thought we knew where we went wrong and we went out to correct that.

"Our preparation was great and it showed out there tonight.
"There were just a couple of things that we had to improve on and the players' attitude was great all week. I think it was our best performance of the year tonight."
The Storm looked jumpy early in the encounter, almost too eager to right the wrongs from last week's loss.
A penalty conceded by Ryan Hoffman delivered the Bulldogs good field position and with less than four minutes elapsed on the clock, Daryl Millard scored close to the Western touchline.
The Bulldogs' perfect start soon turned sour when Daniel Holdsworth dropped the ball from the restart.

In a flash, Cronk squeezed between Sonny Bill Williams and Corey Hughes and the Storm hit the lead.
It was a messy start to the game with both teams looking like they'd rather be packing scrums and not making tackles or hit-ups.
The Bulldogs turned Storm errors into points when Willie Tonga showed great acceleration to evade Anthony Quinn and score again for the visitors.
The only consolation for the Storm was that the usually sniper-like Hazem El Masri missed both his conversion attempts.
Melbourne found the spark they were missing during the early stages of the match in Greg Inglis.

The five-eighth was so casual in his approach to the Bulldogs defensive line that the Bulldogs players were probably thinking he was planning something.
Four defenders aimed in on the number six, leaving the wing bare. Inglis then slipped the ball to Matt King and the Storm regained the lead.
From there, Melbourne changed gears and built what became an unassailable lead.

Cronk again evaded a Williams tackle, before offloading to a rioting Hoffman, who made amends from some earlier errors by getting the ball over the line.
Cronk followed the assist up with a try of his own, burrowing over from a metre out with only a minute left before the half-time break.
The Bulldogs looked out of the match when they went into the sheds, but started off the second half with a brilliant try that saw more than half the team involved as the ball went from the Eastern to Western side and then halfway back again, before Reni Maitua finally scored.
It was almost enough to take attention way from the Storm halfback, but the spotlight again shone on Cronk when he kicked for Matt King's wing and found the 2006 Kangaroo tourist leaping above two Bulldogs' defenders and making a clean touchdown.
The final try of the match was almost identical, but if King leapt, then Israel Folau must have been flying.
The youngster, who came off the bench in this game, made it to double figures on the try-scoring tally and capped off Cronk's night by adding a third try assist to the halfback's already impressive effort.
With the State of Origin series about to begin, the Storm team that takes the field against the Roosters on Saturday will bare little resemblance to tonight's.
Bellamy, though, seems pleased that a number of fringe players will now get an opportunity.
"It's a challenging time for us, but it's also an exciting time because we're going to give a lot of young guys a chance. There'll be a few debutants next week, I'd imagine," said Bellamy.
STORM 38 (Tries: Cronk 2, King 2, Hoffman, Folau; Goals: C. Smith 7) def. BULLDOGS 14 (Tries: Millard, Cutler, Maitua; Goals: El Masri) - Read More, Here