Cronk field goal gets Storm past Roosters

Melbourne Storm halfback Cooper Cronk has snapped a field goal in the dying seconds to seal a 17-16 win over the Sydney Roosters at AAMI Park.

Superstar Cronk kicked the winner from directly in front of the posts with 45 seconds left on the clock on Saturday night to lock down his team’s third win in succession.

It was another heart-breaking defeat for the Roosters – who went down to the Broncos in golden point last round – and it was also their third straight loss.

The teams went into the halftime break locked at 10-10 and it took until the 73rd minute before Melbourne took the lead through Will Chambers.

The in-form centre ran on to a long ball from skipper Cameron Smith and wrong-footed his rival Michael Jennings to touch down.

Smith converted for what appeared to be the match-winning lead.

But the Roosters weren’t done with yet, winger Daniel Tupou crossing in the corner in the 76th minute.

Roosters five-eighth James Maloney nailed the conversion from the sideline to again tie the match up before Cronk’s match-winner.

Rain started falling over Melbourne before kick-off but both teams defied the conditions to produce a high-quality, entertaining match.

The Storm were first on the scoreboard in the 14th minute after a spectacular leap by winger Marika Koroibete which would have looked right at home across the road at the MCG.

The athletic Fijian soared high above Roosters winger Nene Macdonald to grab a cross-field bomb from Cronk and plant the ball for the opening try.

The Roosters hit back just five minutes later when Mitchell Aubusson scooted through an opening in the Storm line, with Mitchell Pearce and Maloney setting up the try.

Two penalty goals gave the Roosters a 10-4 lead but the home side levelled with a converted Felice Kaufusi try in the 38th minute.

Storm skipper Cameron Smith said his side delivered an 80-minute performance.

“That was the toughest match we’ve played this year,” he told ABC radio.

“It was played with a lot of intensity and it’s unusual to see a match of that quality so early in the season.

“We needed 80 minutes and I thought we did that.”

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