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Hungry Raiders break Storm curse

Posted June 28, 2009 16:04:00
Updated June 28, 2009 16:29:00

Origin hangover... Cam Smith is slung to the turf by Bronson Harrison with Billy Slater looking on.

Origin hangover... Cam Smith is slung to the turf by Bronson Harrison with Billy Slater looking on. (Getty Images: Stefan Postles)

Melbourne was unable to repeat its epic post-Origin domination of Brisbane as the Raiders took advantage of tired legs to record a 26-16 upset win at Canberra Stadium this afternoon.

In round 13 the Storm's Maroons stars hammered the Broncos 48-4 following Origin I, but today - four days after Queensland wrapped up the series - it was a far different story.

Canberra put together three tries to one in the following half and extended its lead to 20-4 after Justin Carney scored a breakaway try early after the restart.

The Storm mounted a late comeback with two tries as the Raiders' conceded the impetus, but the hosts managed to hang on for their first victory in three starts and a first defeat of Melbourne since 2002.

Terry Campese was delighted with the drought-breaking win, and perhaps having proven a point to Bellamy after he was dropped from the NSW side for Origin II.

"It's great to get a win finally against them. That was an awesome win to be a part of," he told ABC Grandstand.

"We were awesome in the first half... we didn't want to give in for that last 15 minutes because they were the most important of our season yet.

"We showed if we can keep the ball in hand, with equal possession, we can win games."

Melbourne threatened to pull off the unthinkable in the final quarter of an hour with some creative ball movement, a 40/20 attempt and handling errors from Raiders.

The Storm came at Canberra with repeat sets, but just as they were looking ominous Will Chambers dropped the ball on an attacking raid in the 74th minute.

The Raiders came close to nailing the coffin shut when Alan Tongue burrowed out of dummy half only to be held up short, but that proved inconsequential as Bronson Harrison barged over to score in the final minute.

Melbourne had Billy Slater and Cam Smith backing up from the Maroons' 24-14 win over NSW on Wednesday night, with Greg Inglis making a shock return from concussion and Dallas Johnson ruled unfit to play.

The result piled further misery on Storm coach Craig Bellamy, who presided over the Blues' historic defeat as Queensland became the first Origin side to win four consecutive series.

Joel Monaghan had no trouble backing up from representative duty with two first-half tries and the last pass in a well-worked backline move to set up Carney in the 50th minute.

Carney also scored in the first half with the opening points in the 13th minute, while Campese posted two conversions and produced a calm performance in attack to stake his claim for an Origin recall.

Canberra: 26 (J Carney 2, J Monaghan 2, B Harrison tries; T Campese 3/5 conversions)

Melbourne: 16 (C Smith, G Inglis, W Chambers tries; C Smith 2/2 conversions)

Tags: sport, rugby-league, nrl, australia, act, canberra-2600, vic, melbourne-3000

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