4th minute Storm halfback Cooper Cronk is just beaten to a threatening kick in the in-goal area by Jarryd Hayne but manages to pin the Parramatta fullback to earn a line drop-out. 5th minute The Storm capitalise on their second set in the Parramatta red zone when mid-season club-switcher Brett Finch, perhaps drawing on his knowledge of the Eels’ defensive shortcomings, slips a well-timed pass to second-rower Ryan Hoffman for the first try, converted by Cameron Smith. Storm 6-0 9th minute Relief is at hand – at least for a little while – for the besieged Eels when Storm second-rower Adam Blair is penalised for stripping possession from opposite number Nathan Hindmarsh in a two-man tackle. 23rd minute Nearly … but not quite. Eels centre Krisnan Inu climbs high to reel in a spiralling bomb a few metres short of the try line but after hitting the ground with a thud, his Hail Mary pass to support wouldn’t be hailed by anyone, let alone the kindest Mary, and the attacking movement came to nought. 24th minute Cronk cranks up Parra’s pain another notch when he slices through the defensive line on a diagonal run and finds Blair hurtling through in support to score Melbourne’s second four-pointer. Cameron Smith misses the difficult conversion attempt from out wide. Storm 10-0 29th minute Rookie five-eighth Daniel Mortimer splits the Melbourne defence near the halfway line before the cover defence converges. Eric Grothe threatens the line on the next play but Hayne’s last-tackle not-quite-a-bomb is a fizzer, easily taken by Storm winger Steve Turner. 33rd minute The Eels again look like finally getting on the scoreboard when they spread the ball and Grothe steps his way to within spitting distance of the line, but the last pass from centre Joel Reddy was ruled forward. The electric Eels of the past couple of months are looking decidedly acoustic. 38th minute Parramatta’s ”Mr Perpetual Motion jnr” Hindmarsh comes up with a trademark show of dedication when he rushes up on Cronk as the Storm No.7 is looking to thread through an attacking kick on the last play, deep in enemy territory. Hindmarsh’s harassment forces the ball loose. 39th minute The tale of Parramatta’s first half is summed up by Hindmarsh just moments after his efforts to force the ball loose from Cronk. Hindmarsh spills the pill in the play-the-ball and another Eels attacking raid falls short. 44th minute Bench forwards have to make an impact or there’s little point bringing them on. Feleti Mateo gave the Eels much-needed oomph when he split the defence before being nabbed close to the line. He backed up to cause more havoc on the next play to leave Melbourne at sixes and sevens. 45th  minute Following on from Mateo’s efforts, Parra went wide and after Ben Smith dodged a bullet pass by ducking at the last second, Grothe stepped infield much like an Eels winger with the same name and number on his back in a semi-final 25 years ago, beating four defenders to score. Storm 10-6 49th minute Greg Inglis had been relatively quiet but he swung the momentum back south of the border, down Melbourne way, when he reeled in a Cronk bomb while a handful of Parramatta players watched it unfold as if they were watching the trophy slip from their grasp. They were. Storm 16-6 55th minute Slater opened up the sweetest of 16-point leads after Adam Blair made the initial bust before popping a clever pass for the flying Storm fullback to slide over. Smith added the extras from near the sideline. Storm 22-6 59th minute It wasn’t quite in the league of Scott Sattler’s famous cover tackle in the 2003 decider but Storm winger Steve Turner put Luke Burt into touch with a superb diving effort when the Parramatta No.2 looked headed for the left corner. 67th minute Melbourne centre Will Chambers was denied a try by referee Tony Archer after he leapt high to catch a short line drop-out. Archer correctly ruled Chambers caught the ball before it had travelled 10 metres. Refs are such killjoys, sticking to the rules – which they usually do. 70th minute The blue-and-gold clad spectators stopped inching towards the exit signs when centre Joel Reddy latched onto a high kick from Daniel Mortimer and Burt added the extras from out wide. Storm 22-12 72nd minute Eels fans were suddenly scrambling back to their seats after Fuifui Moimoi – sent back on to the field by coach Daniel Anderson for one last shot at glory – hurtled through the Storm’s defence to score, after the approval of video referee Bill Harrigan. Storm 22-16 76th minute Archer pinged Moimoi for stripping possession from Slater in the play-the-ball. Fuifui blew up. Replays showed he lost the ball when Hayne’s leg glanced his arm as he ran back onside. Refs are such killjoys. Inglis kicked the sealing field goal on the next set. Storm 23-16
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