Smith class the difference for Storm in victory
RUGBY league is an 80-minute game. But, generally, there's a few key moments in a match that go a long way to deciding the end result.
On Sunday afternoon at Leichhardt there was one. One glaring incident Melbourne can point to as the reason they beat Wests Tigers.
And there's no prizes for guessing who was responsible for the moment of magic.
It was the 49th minute when captain cool Cameron Smith stepped up to the plate and booted a superb 40/20 with the help of the Leichhardt Oval breeze.
It was a trademark play from the champion hooker - early in the tackle count, catching the opposition off guard, hit to perfection to roll into touch exactly where Smith had planned.
He had, in fact, attempted one in the previous set but failed to find the paint. The second time there was no such mistake.
The context of the game was massive.
Wests Tigers had led 14-6 at half-time and had dominated the opening 40 minutes. The Storm needed something. They needed someone.
Smith knew just how big an effect his 40/20 attempt could have in the context of the game.
Next set, after Storm had fed the scrum 15 metres from the tryline, Young Tonumaipea strolled over to make the score 14-10.
It was the start of a comeback that would reap two hard-earned points for Smith and his Storm.