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Jacob Kiraz and Josh Addo-Carr provided the magic and Viliame Kikau the muscle as the Bulldogs outgunned the Storm 26-12 at AAMI Park on Saturday night.

Canterbury went in as heavy underdogs but took the game up to Melbourne early and were rewarded with the opening try through second-gamer Jake Preston, who stormed onto a Reed Mahoney pass on the right edge and got the ball down despite the attention of three defenders.

Melbourne found their groove and threatened to grab their first through Nelson Asofa-Solomona but four Bulldogs defenders muscled up and denied the Storm big man.

When Young Tonumaipea was sent to the bin for a professional foul in the 25th minute the Bulldogs were quick to pounce, winger Kiraz cruising into the right corner to make it 10-0.

Another dazzling attacking raid by Canterbury in the 34th minute set former Storm man Addo-Carr free on the left wing and he dived in to make it 16-0 with Matt Burton's sideline conversion.

Preston opens the scoring

On the stroke of half-time the Bulldogs went close to a fourth try when Burton grubbered ahead and Kikau picked up the ball to score but replays showed Addo-Carr had knocked on as he tried to regather the kick.

A storming run by bench forward Franklin Pele put the Bulldogs on the front foot and a quick shift to the right gave Kiraz the chance to show his strength to get across for his second try of the night early in the second term.

Mahoney nailed a 40-20 in the 48th minute and the visitors rubbed more salt into the Melbourne wounds with a try to Jake Averillo, who carried three defenders over the line to make it 26-0.

Kiraz is having a night out

The Storm took their first steps on the long road back when Asofa-Solomona crossed in the 53rd minute and Nick Meaney converted to cut the margin to 20.

A blow for the Storm soon after when Asofa-Solomona left the field with a knee injury but superstars Harry Grant and Jahrome Hughes lifted, the Kangaroos hooker putting the Kiwi playmaker in for a try in the 58th minute.

Down by 14 and with time running out the Storm muscled up in defence to force a mistake from Ryan Sutton but Melbourne's attack wouldn't click when they needed it to and the Dogs snuffed out the raid.

With Mahoney controlling the game out of dummy half and Kikau muscling up in defence, the Bulldogs held on for their first win at AAMI Park since 2016.

Match snapshot

  • Storm centre Young Tonumaipea was sin binned in the 25th minute for a professional foul when he held back a Canterbury support player.
  • Fullback Hayze Perham was a constant threat for the Bulldogs, running for 204 metres from 17 runs and breaking seven tackles.
  • So dominant were the Bulldogs in the first half that they produced six line breaks to one by Melbourne.
  • In just his second NRL game Jake Preston was sensational for the Bulldogs with 13 runs for 128 metres and a try.
  • Jacob Kiraz and Josh Addo-Carr finished the night with 19 tackle breaks between them.
  • Bulldogs hooker Reed Mahoney came up with a 40-20 in the 48th minute and also had 45 tackles for the night.

Kiraz tip-toes to the try line

  • Storm giant Nelson Asofa-Solomona's try was the 28th four-pointer of his 166-game career.
  • Kane Bradley came on with nine minutes to play for his Storm debut and the third game of his career after two at North Queensland in 2021.
  • Viliame Kikau was placed on report and sin binned for a trip with three minutes to play.
  • Christian Welch did his best to lift the Storm with 147 metres from 17 runs in 63 minutes of game time.
  • The Bulldogs had lost their previous seven games against Melbourne.

Tonumaipea binned

Play of the Game

Reviving memories of the famous Canterbury 'Entertainers' of the 1980s, Cameron Ciraldo's men turned on the razzle dazzle in the first half to stun the Storm. The best of their three tries came in the 34th minute when halfback Kyle Flanagan went left and found Viliame Kiaku who got it on quickly to centre Paul Alamoti who sent Josh Addo-Carr away for his 119th career try.

The Foxx hunts at his old ground

What They Said

"I don't think we threw caution to the wind, we played a style of footy we've been training for all pre-season. We've got good players with some strike and we've got very skilful players and that's the way we are going to play. We're not going to play conservative, we're going to play to our strengths and to play a real Bulldogs style of footy. If we play like the first half, that's the sort of game we want. Josh [Addo-Carr] has a lot of strike and we want him involved in the game and he's got a licence to go anywhere. He's a class player and we're going to be dangerous if he keeps doing that." - Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo

Bulldogs: Round 2

"We pride ourselves on effort here but at the start of the game they were a lot more enthusiastic than us. They were running harder, they were tackling harder, they were doing everything better than us and we were a mile off with some of our effort areas. I certainly didn't see that coming. We'd like to have all our players available but at the end of the day we just want the players who go on the field to do their best and we were a long way away from our best tonight."
- Storm coach Craig Bellamy

Storm: Round 2

What's Next

The Storm are on the road in Round 3, taking on the Titans at Cbus Super Stadium. The Bulldogs can expect a packed house at Belmore Sports Ground for their clash with Wests Tigers

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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