Brisbane, Melbourne win again in NRL round 5
Richard Kennar scored a try with seven minutes remaining to clinch the Melbourne Storm's 18-14 come from behind win over Newcastle in the weekend's fifth round of Australia's National Rugby League.
Melbourne trailed by eight points, 14-6, with 20 minutes left but rallied with a 64th-minute try to Cooper Cronk, a penalty to Cameron Smith and Kennar's match-winning try to post their fourth win from five matches, joining Brisbane atop the table.
Cronk also scored in the first half as Melbourne, coming off a loss to Cronulla last weekend, overcame nine errors and a stout Newcastle defense to post an important win.
"We're still not playing real pretty with the footy but we're finding ways to win," assistant coach Adam O'Brien said.
"There's certainly some willingness from the group to defend and that's the pleasing part but we're under no illusion we've got some work to do with our attack."
Newcastle lost center Sione Mata'utia to concussion after a collision with Kennar in the fifth minute, then lost utility Danny Levi midway through the first half with a back injury.
Coach Nathan Brown said the injuries were disruptive but Newcastle could take heart from a gutsy performance in difficult circumstances.
"To see all the hard work go in and losing a few bodies in the first half and then put ourselves in a position to win and not to win is obviously disappointing," Brown said. "They hopefully can learn from what that effort and commitment brings."
The Broncos had to hold out a strong finish from depleted Gold Coast to win 24-16 and stay atop the table. Gold Coast lost five-eighth Tyrone Roberts to injury during the week and prop David Shillington during the warm-up but was still able to fully stretch Brisbane, who failed to capitalize on 59 percent of possession in the first half.
The Broncos led 10-4 at the break before pulling away to a 22-6 lead. But tries to Daniel Mortimer and Zeb Taia for the Titans closed the gap to six points before Brisbane knuckled down to clinch the win.
Defending premiers North Queensland moved into third place with a comprehensive 36-0 win over St. George Illawarra. The Cowboys led 12-0 after a tight first half and weren't able to take control of the match until the last quarter.
Fullback Lachlan Coote led the late scoring spree with two try assists and two line-break assists.
Souths are fourth after a 16-12 win over Manly while Wests upset the sixth-placed Sharks 26-24.
In Sunday's late match, Ryan Cartwright scored his second try after the final siren to give Penrith a 20-18 win over Parramatta.
Josh Mansour scored in the 76th minute to draw Penrith within two points of the Eels but Jamie Soward's conversion drifted wide of the posts. Penrith seemed likely to hold on to a win which would have put it level with Brisbane and Melbourne on eight points when Cartwright sealed the match with the final play.