The Sydney Roosters have been downed 20-4 by the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park in what was a gallant performance from the Red, White and Blue.
Despite a lack of execution cruelling Trent Robinson's side, the Tricolours put on a courageous showing which kept their opponents to two penalty goals in the first half in a brutal drama-filled contest.
Off the back of some early forward momentum, the Roosters looked to get on the board in the first three minutes as Josh Morris collected a Sam Walker grubber - but unfortunately, the try was overturned by the bunker as it was deemed Morris had lost the ball upon taking possession.
Not to be deterred, the Easts' pack continued to charge downfield, but an uncharacteristic period of ill-discipline saw the Roosters give away a number of penalties. After handing over further possession and territory to their opponents, eventually, they found themselves with a man in the sin-bin after fifteen minutes.
Despite being outnumbered, the Tricolours kept their opponents at bay with the Bondi Wall holding off numerous attacking raids from their opponents, showing desperate and courageous defence through an intense period.
Round 6 Match Highlights: Roosters v Storm
Further errors would continue to cripple the Roosters' attacking opportunities, and the Storm took the first points of the match through a penalty goal after 25 minutes.
The combatants would trade errors as brutal defence saw the football dislodged on both sides of the field, and as Melbourne applied plenty of pressure in the shadows of half-time, a try-saving tackle from Victor Radley and Lindsay Collins held their opponents out in what a stand-out moment of the match.
Another penalty goal on the buzzer saw the scores at 4-nil as the Storm extended their lead through another penalty goal, with the sides heading into the sheds after an arm-wrestle of a first half, which saw their opponents with 72% possession of the ball in the final ten minutes.
The brutality continued in the second half with plenty of big hits and crunching tackles, and another try was saved for the Red, White and Blue as the defence forced a forward pass from the Storm just centimetres from the line.
A dubious captain's challenge by the home side contesting a lost ball was successful, but despite the lack of possession and territory the Roosters continued to display plenty of tenacity and determination.
But the weight of possession would eventuate as Melbourne scored the first try of the night as an unlucky touch off the Roosters saw the Storm go under the posts.
With the conversion successful, the Storm took a 10-nil lead after 51 minutes gone.
The Tricolours survived another scare as their opponents made a break up the middle of the field only to lose the ball on fifth tackle, and the drama would continue as a head-high tackle on James Tedesco eased pressure on the Roosters.
Needing the pendulum to swing their way heading into the final quarter of the match, frantic passages of play would fail to spark the attack, and Melbourne would eventually extend their lead through a try to Ryan Papenhuyzen.
Match: Storm v Roosters
Round 6 -
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Further penalties from the Storm marched the Roosters downfield, but more ill-discipline cruelled any chance of mounting a comeback, with the Storm scoring once more through Harry Grant.
A leaping Joseph Manu looked to have put the Roosters back in the contest after taking a kick, but once again the rub of the green went against the Red, White and Blue as the rangy centre was deemed to be offside.
Enterprising play found the Roosters downfield once more in the final minutes of the match and a cross-field kick from James Tedesco found Matt Ikuvalu who touched down for a consolation try.
The Roosters will host the St George Illawarra Dragons on next Sunday April 25 in the 20th edition of the Anzac Day Cup.
Sydney Roosters 4 (Matt Ikuvalu try) def by Melbourne Storm (Jahrome Hughes, Ryan Papenhuyzen, Harry Grant tries; Ryan Papenhuyzen 2 goals; Ryan Papenhuyzen 2 penalty goals)
Stay tuned for more from Roosters.com.au including Match Highlights, Roosters TV Post-Match Interviews and Head Coach Trent Robinson's Press Conference!