In what was Titans utility Preston Campbell’s 250th match, one that he may want to forget for obvious reasons, the Titans were comprehensively beaten and outplayed by a clinical Storm side at AAMI Park.
The game was effectively over by half-time as the Storm went into the break with a 28-0 lead, and the Titans never recovered with Scott Prince labelling the performance as “embarrassing”.
“It’s very disappointing, something I didn’t see coming,” said Cartwright.
For Laurie Daley, who was commentating on the match alongside Warren Smith, he described the first half effort by the Titans as one of the worst in their existence, since they entered the competition in 2007.
“It got mentioned at halftime,” he said.
“We’ll have another look but it was basics, markers doing the wrong thing, guys not sticking to rules … and they really made us pay for every little basic error we made defensively, they turned it into points.”
It just was not the Titans day, after they were penalised on the opening kick-off for a player being in front of the kicker, and it only continued to go downhill from there.
“Our preparation was first class, I don’t think anyone saw it coming,” Prince said.
“From the start, it was just one of those days when what could go wrong did go wrong.
“From the players point of view we were just embarrassed, the way we finished in the scoreline.”
For the Storm however, they had a multitude of try-scorers with 6 players in total crossing the line in the comfortable win.
Star fullback Billy Slater celebrated a milestone in the second half, after he surpassed Melbourne great Matt Geyer as the Storm’s highest try-scorer in history, with 114 tries.
The win exceeded the expectations of Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy, who was pleased with the pressure that his side applied on Titans halves Luke Capewell and Scott Prince, as well as Preston Campbell.
“It was a good performance, we obviously started the game really well and those first 10 minutes really set the platform for us.
“We got into the groove because we defended well early.”
There were some injuries for both players however, with Titans winger Kevin Gordon and Storm second-rower Sika Manu set to undergo scans.
Dally M Points
3 Â Billy Slater
2 Cameron Smith
1 Cooper Cronk
MELBOURNE 40 (B Slater 2 C Cronk S Manu J O’Neill A Quinn C Smith tries C Smith 6 goals) GOLD COAST 12 (L Capewell W Zillman tries S Prince 2 goals) at AAMI Park.Â Referees: Adam Devcich, Ashley Klein.Â Crowd: 12,391.