The Storm cruised to a quality win over the Broncos 20-6, as five-eighth Darren Lockyer struggled for timing in his return.Â In front of just under 9,000 fans at Stockland Park on the Sunshine Coast – the Melbourne side honed their attacking ability, as they prepared for an NRL kick off in 2 weeks.
Storm fullback Billy Slater was in great touch, looking at his absolute best.
Broncos captain Darren Lockyer struggled for timing and was blowing in his first return for 2009. Lockyer making several errors as the Broncos struggled to stay in touch with the Storm; Locky failing to find touch from a penalty, then kicking out on the full on tackle 6 and throwing an intercept pass early in the match.
Ivan Henjack will be glad he gave Lockyer the run this week as initial plans to rest the five-eighth last night may have proved costly in Round 1 against the Cowboys.
Both the Storm and Broncos looked to play expansive early on, but failed to get into gear with several errors stopping the flow for both sides.Most touches for Slater saw him challenge the Brisbane defence, his speed was at it’s peak as the Maroons star probed away at the Broncos line with the ball.
Born again Broncos Michael DeVere made a successful return to the top grade, looking to have his speed and quality in-tact. DeVere making a nice cover tackle on Slater early on to save a try, showing no ill-effects from his layoff.
During the first 40 minutes, there was only a single try. The Storm backline clicking into gear through Greg Inglis, Cooper Cronk and Slater, who layed on the final ball for rookie centre Willie Isa to score in the corner.
The next try didn’t come until 13 minutes into the 2nd term.
Melbourne flanker Joe Tomane getting over the line, then Slater followed suit minutes later with a touchdown to give his side a 16-0 lead.
Veteran Broncos forward Corey Parker got his side on the scoreboard late, scoring and converting his own try with 15 minutes to go in the match. The Broncos having some work to do over the next 2 weeks to fine tune their attack before meeting the Cowboys in Round 1.