Storm topple injury-hit Broncos
Melbourne have kept their top-four hopes alive with a gritty 15-8 win over a scrappy Broncos side at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night.
The seven-point victory ensures the Storm will finish the season no lower than fifth on the ladder and they'll stay in fourth spot should the Sharks lose to the Sea Eagles on Sunday.
Man of the Match Cameron Muster was sensational for the Storm, finishing the contest with 224 metres, two line breaks and a try assist, while forcing two line dropouts.
The Broncos looked devoid of options in attack without Ben Hunt and the club's decision to rest their influential playmaker with a slight cork backfired when replacement half Ashley Taylor suffered a game-ending hand injury in the 28th minute.
Taylor's injury was later revealed to be a compound fracture to a finger on his right hand.
Luckily for Brisbane former under-20s halfback Kodi Nikorima was on deck to replace the Titans-bound half, but the injury deprived the Broncos of a full interchange bench and they later lost Darius Boyd due to concussion.
Melbourne's win in front of a crowd of 44,015 was their fifth in a row over the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium – a record stretching back to 2009.
While Brisbane's loss wasn't an ideal way to end their regular season, they'll welcome back Hunt next weekend for their qualifying final against the third-placed Cowboys.
Leading 8-4 at half-time, defence dominated the early exchanges of the second half before centre Kurt Mann scored his second try in the 53rd minute to hand Melbourne a 14-4 lead.
Possession began to swing back in Brisbane's favour with the home team enjoying four sets in a row to eventually crack the Storm's defensive line.
Running the ball on the last, Boyd looped a pass to an unmarked Jack Reed who planted the ball down on the chalk for Brisbane's first try of the night.
Corey Parker's conversion was waved away keeping the deficit at six points.
Boyd's try assist was his last meaningful contribution of the night after a head knock forced the Broncos fullback out of the match due to concussion.
Cooper Cronk's 71st-minute field goal handed the Storm a seven-point buffer which they held until the final whistle.
In the first half the Broncos had to withstand early pressure inside the opening 10 minutes but their defensive line held strong and they were soon awarded a penalty which Parker slotted to hand the home side a 2-0 lead.
Melbourne struck back in the 20th minute when Mann crossed for his second try of the season.
The Storm had received a seven-tackle set courtesy of Milford's overweighted grubber kick and managed to work a line dropout.
From the resulting set the Storm found numbers on Brisbane's right edge allowing Mann to slice through for the opening try.
Brisbane levelled proceedings via a Milford penalty goal, but just as it appeared the first half would end all square Will Chambers crashed over to hand advantage back to the Storm.
Cameron Smith missed his second attempt on goal as the half-time siren sounded on an 8-4 Melbourne lead.
Melbourne Storm 15 (Kurt Mann 2, Will Chambers tries; Cameron Smith 1 goal, Cooper Cronk field goal) defeated Brisbane Broncos 8 (Jack Reed try; Corey Parker, Anthony Milford goals) at Suncorp Stadium. Half-time: Storm 8-4. Crowd: 44,015.