The Melbourne Storm, fielding a younger side than won the NRL comp last season, withstood a concerted Leeds effort to win the World Club Challenge 18-10. The game started well for Leeds with a bit of luck and the provision of a two point penalty kick, but Melbourne answered back and the game was level at 2 apiece. A further penalty goal by each team gave the half-time score a dramatic four all.
The second half showed intensity and passion from both sides, but it was Melbourne that proved themselves the better side, scoring two tries to one and having Cameron Smith kick five from five, in his unaccustomeed halfback role
Smith was best on the ground, while Danny Maguire kept toiling for the English team. The win by the Storm is the second in succession by the Australian NRL Premiers, following Manly's win last season, and this will no doubt cause all sorts of angst for the English game.
It will be interesting to see how Melbourne start the NRL season this year, considering Manly's struggle to compete early last year.