Storm v Eels: Five key points
What we learned from Parramatta's comeback win over an Origin-depleted Storm side in Melbourne on Monday night.
Inexperienced Storm let one slip
In close games they say you need experience but unfortunately for the Storm most of theirs was in the Queensland Origin camp. Melbourne put out one of their youngest ever sides in this game, with 12 of their 17 under the age of 24 and with less than 50 NRL games under their belt. To put it in perspective it would take 14 Storm players in this game to match the 300 games of experience Anthony Watmough had reached on the night.
Perhaps it was that lack of polish in the closing moments that proved the difference in the narrow four-point defeat but coach Craig Bellamy took great pride in the performance of his young charges.
"I couldn't fault the effort tonight, it is a really young side," Bellamy said.
"Our back five had 60 first-grade games of experience between the whole lot of them and we had a few guys on our bench who have not played even close to double figures.
"The effort that we put in was tremendous... it is a bit of a learning curve for out younger players when we get in this position what we need to do."
Cometh the moment cometh the Moeroa. The 19-year-old from the Cook Islands picked the perfect time to score his first try of the season when he collected a David Gower pass and bulldozed through the Melbourne defence with three minutes left on the clock. It capped of a solid night for the youngster who also had an assist and a line break in the game.
Momentum is a funny thing
It was just one of those games where once you thought a team would run away with it the other would come charging back. The Storm controlled the first 20 minutes and scored two tries on the back of 61 per cent of possession. But from the 27th minute until 10 minutes into the second half it was all the Eels who worked their way in front.
The lead changed four different times in the second half and there was even some late drama for good measure with Mahe Fonua falling centimeters short scoring what could have been a match-winning try for Melbourne.
Fijian flyer Semi Radradra was in full swing once again on Monday night and had the Storm right edge on toast in the first half with two tries and another disallowed on video review. The 23-year-old almost single-handedly got the Eels back in the game as he finished with a game-high 190 metres.
Radradra now has 11 tries from eight games in 2015, moving him into equal third overall on the competition's try scorer's list.
Mixed night for the milestone man
It was a bittersweet milestone for Anthony Watmough as the veteran big man was forced to leave the game with 15 minutes to play with an apparent shoulder injury. While the sweet taste of victory will make the pain of Tuesday morning's wake up more bearable it remains to be seen the extent of the damage.
It was an horrific night of injuries for the Eels with Nathan Peats (possible ACL), Kaysa Pritchard (peck) and Reece Robinson (fractured jaw) all picking up significant injuries. Watmough was instrumental in helping Parra steady the ship after falling 12-0 down early on Monday night. He was clearly vocal on the field following the Eels' slow start and finished his milestone game with 124 metres and 40 tireless tackles.