Last played: Storm v Dragons
The Dragons upset the full-strength Storm 26-18 at WIN Stadium in Round 21 last season, with star winger Brett Morris scoring a hat-trick of tries.
Morris opened the scoring for the Red V in the seventh minute, snaffling an intercept and out-sprinting the Storm cover defence in a 95-metre dash to the line. Rapid-fire tries to Beau Scott (17th minute) backing up a Morris infield chip kick, and Trent Merrin (23rd minute) charging over from close range off an inside pass from dummy-half Mitch Rein, seized a commanding 18-nil lead for the home side.
However, the Storm rallied, exposing some flimsy defence on the Dragons’ left edge; first Kevin Proctor charged over (35th minute), before Will Chambers’ easy put-down four minutes later saw the sides head to the sheds with an 18-12 scoreline.
Morris edged the Dragons further ahead with another long-range try shortly after the resumption, streaking 90 metres after the Storm spilled the Steeden while pressing the try line.
That made it 22-12 and when Morris sliced through for his third try in the 51st minute the Dragons grabbed a 14-point buffer.
Ryan Hinchcliffe crossed in the 67th minute to give the visitors a glimmer of hope but they were kept at bay by a determined Dragons defence.
This was a game in which the stats didn’t tell the story: Melbourne made six line-breaks to the Dragons’ two, while the home side missed 11 tackles more than the Storm. However, the Dragons’ 83 per cent completion rate and modest 10 errors – as well as Morris’ double strike against the run of play – ensured they were competitive.