Storm edge out Eels in qualifying final
Melbourne Storm held on for an 18-16 qualifying final win over the Eels at AAMI Park.
The minor premiers came from behind to see off Parramatta, thanks to two tries in the space of four second-half minutes.
Melbourne booked a home preliminary final, ultimately, thanks to Cameron Smith's 64th-minute penalty goal as both teams ran in three tries and converted two of them.
The Storm took an early lead when Josh Addo-Carr caught a Curtis Scott one-handed pass to go over in the corner.
They made too many errors in the first half, though, and the Eels were able to capitalise.
Cameron Munster was sin-binned for a professional foul in the 23rd minute and the visitors scored two tries while he was off the field.
First centre Kirisome Auva'a crossed in the corner to level the scores, then fullback Will Smith held a superb inside ball from five-eighth Mitchell Moses to give Parramatta a 10-4 half-time lead.
The Storm needed a strong start to the second stanza and got it as they went over twice in quick succession.
Kenny Bromwich got the first after the home team shifted the ball 10 times on the last tackle with Felise Kaufusi's run putting Bromwich in from close range.
Addo-Carr's chip kick paved the way for the next try, his chip kick putting Billy Slater in to make it 16-10.
Smith's penalty goal made it an eight-point lead, but the Eels hit back four minutes later when Semi Radradra found space on the left flank to score a try.
Cameron Smith is 1/12 to win the Dally M Medal as the NRL's best player.
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