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Controversial Slater score helps Storm to victory

20 April 2018 16:46

Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett said Billy Slater "definitely lost the ball" after he was awarded a controversial try in Melbourne Storm's 34-20 win at Suncorp Stadium.

With the Storm trailing 4-0 early on, Slater levelled matters as he touched down from his own kick. However, replays suggested Slater had dropped the ball before kicking it.

The video referee confirmed the try, though, with the NRL's Bunker later explaining their assessment Slater had intentionally drop-kicked the ball and not committed a knock-on.

Defending champions Melbourne subsequently surged into an 18-4 half-time lead and were always in control in the second half as doubles from Slater and Josh Addo-Carr proved decisive.

Asked after the game if he thought he had scored, Slater said: "I honestly thought I knocked it on. That's the way it goes sometimes."

And Bennett told a post-match media conference: "He definitely lost the ball. He went to kick it. He missed it. It hit the ground.

"That is a game changer if that is to be the standard going forward. It was never intended to be a drop-kick and the ball hit the ground. So what are we saying now – if we knock the ball on and it hits the ground and we still kick at it, it's a drop-kick?"

Meanwhile, New Zealand Warriors joined St. George Illawarra Dragons at the top of the NRL ladder by ending their perfect record with a 20-12 victory.

The Dragons had won six out of six before making the trip to Mt Smart Stadium, but they came unstuck in Auckland, where the Warriors scored two tries in each half to come out on top despite being without star playmaker Shaun Johnson and Solomone Kata.

Mason Lino, in for the injured Johnson, produced another eye-catching performance, setting the tone with an early try after evading three tackles and converting an Anthony Gelling score late in the first half.

Ben Hunt got the Dragons back in it when he went under the posts for a superb solo try, but Isaac Luke finished soon after putting the visitors on the back foot with a brilliant 40/20.

Isaiah Papali'i settled it with a fourth try for the Warriors, who lost Tohu Harris to concussion in the first half, after Tariq Sims went over at the other end as Stephen Kearney's men consigned the Dragons to a first loss of the season.

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