Storm surprise Cowboys

Melbourne are the second team through to the semi-finals after they downed a lacklustre Cowboys outfit 14-6.

Cowboys winger Antonio Winterstein was disappointed with the way his side handled their match against the Storm.

"We sort of played too much touch footy out there, and you can't do that in a game like this, you need to play normal footy," Winterstein said.

"We coughed some ball up in our own end and paid the price. But we gave it a good crack and it is what it is."

Speaking following the match, Storm hooker Nafe Seluini said how pleased he was to be part of a Melbourne side exceeding expectations.

"We came here as underdogs and I am proud of the boys to get where we have, we have done well. We are the first Storm team to get this far at the Nines, so this is a pretty exciting moment," Seluini said.

North Queensland launched into the razzle-dazzle from the opening whistle with the aid of the new free-play rule but the Storm's defence was back in order after their whipping at the hands of the Roosters, turning away several Cowboys charges at the start of proceedings.

A slight lack of execution and sturdy defence from both sides kept the match scoreless for over eight minutes but a few repeat sets finally told on North Queensland when Richie Kennar cracked the deadlock for a 6-0 half-time advantage.

A brilliant Cam Munster intercept and a floating pass to a supporting Curtis Scott stretched the lead early in the second half to 10-0 but a dropped ball in his own end from Nelson Asofa-Solomona set the stage for a Rory Kosjasyn show-and-go solo try to get the Cowboys started.

Munster's knee twisted awkwardly in a tackle with two minutes remaining causing him to leave the field in some discomfort. The frustrated Cowboys weren't able to get out of their own end and a forward pass late in the game ended their chances and handed the Storm a final scoring chance which they took via a Ben Hampton solo try.

The Storm believe Munster has picked up a medial ligament strain, and will only miss a few weeks of pre-season preparations. Munster is likely to head for scans once the squad return to Melbourne.

Melbourne Storm 14 (Kennar, Scott, Hampton tries) def. North Queensland Cowboys 6 (Kosjasyn try).