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Melbourne Storm secure tough-fought win after first game of NRL season goes to golden point

Melbourne Storm secure tough-fought win after first game of NRL season goes to golden point

It was as tight a contest as we could've got to open the 2023 NRL season.

The first game of the 2023 NRL season was a tense one, to say the least, one that could only be decided by golden point.

Harry Grant secured the victory for Storm as he broke through the line to score a try after regular time and give Melbourne the 16-12 win in golden point.

Two grand finalists from the past two seasons faced off as Melbourne Storm took on the Parramatta Eels.

It was a fantastic atmosphere in CommBank stadium as the Parramatta fans really turned it on to welcome back their team.

While the Eels were putting together some beautiful-looking set plays in the first 20 minutes, it took the team quite a while to convert their efforts into a try.

Mitch Moses scored an early goal in the fifth minute to put the Eels up 2-0, but we had to agonisingly wait 25 minutes more before the first try of the season came.

Maiko Sivo was denied the first try of the NRL season after the official controversially called his receive as a forward pass.

Cameron Munster had gone off injured with a suspected dislocated finger and the Parra side capitalised on a reduced Melbourne team.

The Eels were persistent before a Clint Gutherson pass eventually made its way to Will Penisini who looked joyous as he put the ball down for the first try of the season.

The Parramatta Eels side went into the break 6-0 up.

And while the majority of the first-half without many points on the board, the second-half certainly wasn’t the case.

Miraculously, Munster returned to the field in the second half despite the gruesome injury which saw blood running down his hand.

Perhaps wanting to repay the grit of their star player, Melbourne squared things up early in the second half thanks to a Nick Meaney try following some swift-looking quick offloads.

They weren’t equal for long before Junior Paulo scored the most Junior Paulo-esque try for his first of the season.

The big man barrelled through the Storm defence to put the Eels back ahead.

Seemingly not letting a fractured finger faze him, Cameron Munster produced some magic from dummy-half, deceiving the Eels defence before passing to Young Tonumaipea who went over to even things up and set up a tense finish.

Injuries seemed to be the theme for Melbourne’s game as Xavier Coates went off with an injured clavicle, whilst Tonumaipea came up from a collision with a brutal cut over his eye.

It was a true reflection of how rough the game was - how good is it to have footy back?

It was a cagey final 15 minutes with mistakes galore and close-cut chances for each team, including a Moses drop-goal attempt which was blocked by the Melbourne defence.

The 80 minutes finished 12-12 as we headed to golden point for the first game of the NRL season.

After several attempts at goal, it wasn't a drop-goal but a try that secured the win for Storm.

Harry Grant saw a gap in the Eels line as he snuck his way through the defence to place the ball on the line with his fingertips.

Melbourne ran out 16-12 winners against Parramatta.

Featured Image Credit: NRL.

Topics: Australia, Rugby League, NRL