The Melbourne Storm have stayed with the Sydney Roosters on the top of the ladder, overcoming an injury ravaged New Zealand Warriors 13-12.

The Warriors led most of the game in the close clash with a 12-10 lead for much of the second half.

But post-game, social media blew up with a conspiracy theory which gave the Storm the win.

With just under five minutes left, Storm prop Jesse Bromwich looked for a quick play-the-ball and seemed to drop the ball, only for the home side to get a penalty 20m out in front of the goals.


After the scores were level, Brodie Croft then kicked a stunning field goal from 40m out, bouncing it in off the post.

But fans were less than impressed with the call in the play-the-ball, with some calling a conspiracy that Bromwich was awarded a penalty to help the Storm get out of jail.

Channel 9 commentator Paul Vautin helped fuel the conspiracy claims, calling it a "dicey" call.

"I really feel for the Warriors, they should have won it but it's an 80 minute game," he said.

James Bracey asked "was it a penalty?"

"It was very dicey," Vautin replied. "There are about 10 of those a game."

Johnathan Thurston also let rip on the call.

"No way," he started. "We've seen those go all year and the last couple of years. The referees are allowing that in the game, the boys holding on and slowing the play the ball down. He's got to play it correctly."

Cameron Munster of the Storm celebrates a try during the round 7 NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors. Photo / Getty Images.
Cameron Munster of the Storm celebrates a try during the round 7 NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors. Photo / Getty Images.

Former Storm star Billy Slater backed Melbourne, arguing it was hard to come down on the referees for a 50-50 call.

But social media was confident the fix was in.

On Fox League, Brett Finch said it was a spray at halftime that got the Storm home — but not just from Craig Bellamy.

"I was in the sheds at halftime and it was a good old fashioned Craig Bellamy spray," Brett Finch said on Fox League.

"But let me tell you, before the coach could get to them, the captain Cameron Smith addressed his team and gave them a serve."

Earlier the Storm hit back after a sluggish start, closing the gap on the fast starting Warriors.

The visitors hit the lead through a penalty goal before a rampaging Adam Blair charged onto a ball from Tohu Harris on the last tackle.

Outside of the try, he had a horror game with the try the only score of his night.

But the Storm are never going to let an opposition team get away with a "genius move" from Josh Addo-Carr to knock the ball back for Cameron Munster to get the Storm on the board.

The second half started with a try to Jahrome Hughes was followed up almost immediately by Ken Maumalo to set up the lead close lead.

The Warriors have held on with desperation defence, holding the Storm at bay.

It ruined Sam Thaiday's prediction for the second half — or should we say the seagulls' prediction.

"What I want to talk about the seagulls," Thaiday said early in the second half.

"Seagulls use a ray of sounds and noises and body language to talk and communicate with each other. You know what the seagulls told me? The Melbourne Storm will score 18 points in the second half. Watch out, here they come."

Vautin was savage in response.

"Seriously, did he have 10 schooners at halftime, Sam," he said. "He's just made that up."