It was a win that the Melbourne Storm needed and in front of 12,185 fans at AAMI Park, it was a win they received, as the Storm demolished an undermanned and outgunned Cronulla Sharks side with an easy 48-6 win.
The 42-point win was the biggest for the Storm over the Sharks, with the first half a spectacle for the Victorian side.
Scoring six tries in the opening stanza and dominating possession across the board, it was a clinical performance by the Storm and one that has them back in the winners circle.
Usually seen as a side with the big 3, another name can throw his hat into the ring to make it a big 4 – one Jesse Bromwich. His impact in making metres and breaks at will and eventually scoring a try, have seen him cement his spot as an elite prop in the game.
Although his side was firing on all cylinders in attack, it was the defence of his Storm team that impressed captain Cam Smith the most.
“I think the lesson learned last week was that you can’t go into games, score 30 and expect to win; you need to defend well,” said Smith.
“If you can’t defend well at this time of year you can’t expect to win footy games.
“If you want to defend strongly then you will defend strongly, if you don’t want to then you won’t.”
After a disappointing loss last week, the positive attitude and mentality signaled the change in their overall performance in the eyes of Smith.
“The attitude was different tonight,” said Smith.
“You could feel it in yesterday’s captain’s run and you could feel it before the game and that is where we let ourselves down last week. It was good that the boys responded well and changed it straight away.
“We are in a position now where it is getting pretty close to finalsâ€¦ From experience defence is what wins big games.
“Defence is what wins matches against good sides and we are playing three of them in our last three matches.”
As for the Sharks, it continues what has been a very tough 2014 season for the Shire-based club.
Although their fans can take some heart out of the game for the courageous way in which they fought in the second half, it perhaps may not be enough, with Sharks fans seeking victories and wins.
That was not what James Shepherd wanted, though, who admitted that his side were disappointing.
It was a poor performance for us, there is no doubt,” Shepherd said.
“On the back of what we did last week, we defended really well and that wasn’t there tonight so it was really disappointing.
“I think the first couple of tries were us but from that point, the possession they had, they are a quality team with such good a good dummy half, halfback and fullback.
If given that much possession they are capable of coming up with those points.”