Green stars as Storm beat Eels
Defence was the name of the game as the Storm defeated the Eels 14-4 in game two of the Downer NRL Auckland Nines.
Half Blake Green starred for the Storm, who ran in three tries to one against Parramatta despite missing their 'Big Three' of Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk.
A short, flat drop out to start the game headed straight at the head of Eels forward Tepai Moeroa and forced a knock on before a Ben Hamton pass put Cameron Munster over for the Storm seconds later. However a Young Tonumaipea fumble at his line quickly followed by a brilliant Corey Norman cut-out saw the Eels hit straight back.
From there the wet conditions stymied both sides' attack and while the Eels looked to have the better of first half proceedings an offside call against Corey Norman denied the Eels skipper from a Mitch Cornish grubber.
The Storm then went ahead in the second half when Richie Kennar latched onto a perfect Blake Green cross-field kick before Green showed great evasiveness to score himself and clinch the win.
Green said the wet weather helped Melbourne capitalise when it mattered.
"It was a good start for us in the tournament so hopefully it will give some of our younger boys a bit of confidence," he told NRL.com.
"Kicking played a really important part for us in the wet weather, if you can turn teams around and make them chance their arm out of their own end then hopefully you can force errors and capitalise of them. That was our plan anyway."
Green said it took a while to get his head around the Nines concept.
"It probably took me a half to get my head around it," he said.
"It's footy, but it's not footy either. I thought there was going to be a lot more space then there was but the gaps close pretty quickly."
Parramatta try-scorer Manu Ma'u said the Eels would need to simplify their game in their upcoming matches.
"It wasn't a good start but hopefully we can bounce back in the second game," Ma'u said.
"We had to realise that all we needed to do was hold the ball and run, and pull back on the fancy moves so it was pretty difficult."
Storm 14 (Munster, Kennar, Green tries) def. Eels 4 (Manu try)