Leilua strikes twice as Raiders down leaders Storm


Melbourne Storm missed the chance to cement their grip on top spot in the NRL, suffering a 22-8 defeat at the hands of Canberra Raiders.

The Storm could have gone three points clear in the race for the minor premiership following Cronulla Sharks' 32-18 loss to St George-Illawarra Dragons.

But they were undone by a Raiders side buoyed by their victory over the Sharks last time out, Canberra claiming a second straight triumph over a league-leading team and a seventh win in succession.

Centre Joseph Leilua opened the scoring as he crossed for the quickest try of the season, going over after just 47 seconds for the Raiders, only for Cooper Cronk's converted try and a Cameron Smith penalty to tilt the contest in Melbourne's favour.

Leilua restored the hosts' advantage in the 24th minute despite the best defensive efforts of Cheyse Blair and Cameron Munster, and Jarrod Croker's conversion and penalty five minutes before half-time put Canberra 14-8 to the good.

Melbourne were thwarted consistently by the Raiders' defence in the opening stages of the second 40, and their frustration at failing to find a way through was furthered when Shannon Boyd went over for Canberra's third try at the other end.

There proved to be no way back for the Storm despite more pressure on the Canberra line, with Croker's late penalty putting the finishing touches on a win that moves the Raiders back into third place in the table.