Melbourne obliterate lacklustre Manly side to reach the grand final

Cooper Cronk

It was all one-way traffic the entire game, as a clinical Melbourne Storm side tore the Manly Sea Eagles apart in the second half, to eventually obliterate the Brookvale club, winning 40-12 in the preliminary to book their spot in the NRL grand final.

Despite making the grand final, however, Storm coach Craig Bellamy, said that he questioned his own ability and that of his team to make the grand final, following a period that saw them lose five games in a row.

Geoff Toovey put it simply – he was gutted at his side’s performance, and knows that the Storm were the dominant side.

“I don’t mind the loss, we’ve had a fantastic season but to finish on that note with such a poor display; the players are really gutted,” he said.

“We were way off the mark.”

It was the Melbourne show the entire game, however, as Cooper Cronk delivered a man-of-the-match performance, to score two tries and set up a couple of others, with Billy Slater also scoring twice.

“We were all tested a little bit and certainly I was questioning myself and what I was doing with the team,” Bellamy said.

“Was I playing my role as well as I could and did I have to change a few things … you’re always asking yourself more questions when you go through a period like that.”

Storm skipper Cameron Smith said that his team had to work hard to get the win, as well as over the course of the season, and they were now reaping the fruit of their loins.

“It’s always nice to make a grand final given what you have to go through during the season.

“I’m really pleased this team’s been able to make it.”

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