Storm outlast injury-hit Panthers

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The Melbourne Storm have continued their charge up the NRL ladder with a hard-fought 24-10 victory over injury-hit Penrith at Sportingbet Stadium.

What: NRL Round 24
Who: Penrith Panthers v Melbourne Storm
Result: 24-10
When and Where: Monday, August 25 – Sportingbet Stadium
Match Rating: Seven out of 10

80 minutes in 80 seconds:
The going was tough early for the Panthers and the Storm quickly capitalised when Marika Koroibete crossed for the opening try. With a hard-fought contest in the middle, burdened by disappointing errors from both sides, Penrith stunned the Storm outfit with a try to Dallin Watene-Zelezniak right before the break. However, the action wasn’t over and the Panthers were caught napping when Cooper Cronk delivered a pin-point kick for Will Chambers to send the visitors into the sheds with a 10-4 lead at the break.
The half-time talk from coach Ivan Cleary obviously wasn’t enough for the Panthers as forward progress was hard come by. The Storm seemingly strangled the life out of the Panthers and took advantage in the back end. Two quick tries to Ben Roberts and Billy Slater around the 60-minute mark all but sealed the deal for the visitors. Jamal Idris scored a late consolation try but it was too little too late for the hosts.

Who killed it?
It was the big three for Melbourne as Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk all had their usual impact. Ben Roberts also showed a touch of class in his outing as well as Will Chambers in the centres. Jamal Idris was really the only shining light for the Panthers.

Who stank it up?
The Panthers were let down by their forwards in which they were outplayed and out muscled up the middle. Silly errors also contributed to a dismal outing for the Panthers. Maybe it was the reality check needed coming into finals time for Cleary’s men.

What do I need to know?:
Adam Docker and Jeremy Latimore were placed on report for the Panthers. Melbourne’s Tim Glasby left the field with a concussion.

Look out up ahead: The Panthers take on the Manly Sea Eagles at Brookvale on Sunday afternoon while the Storm are also away against the Roosters on Saturday night.

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