They may still have room to improve, but the Melbourne Storm showed no signs of fatigue or a hangover in their Rd 1 clash against the Dragons – as they cruised to victory against the St George Illawarra side, taking the game out 30-10 at AAMI Park.
With the mercury hitting a fairly warm 33 degrees in Melbourne, the Storm scored three unanswered tries in the first half to set the tone, with the Dragons unable to bounce back from that early Storm dominance.
Despite the loss, however, Dragons coach Steve Price will take something out of the game – with his side only losing the second half by two points (scoring 10 points of their own to the Storm’s 12).
“They’re premiers and world club champs and they’re a really good footy team,” he said of the Storm.
“You’ve got to be at your best to beat them and we were in patches but we weren’t consistent enough.
“It’s only round one so we’re not going to beat ourselves up about it too much.”
Cooper Cronk looks like he too will emulate his 2012 form, producing some magic that proved too much for the Dragons – including a crucial 40/20 that changed the game.
Several players impressed including youngster Tohu Harris, with Storm coach Craig Bellamy admitting that the warm temperatures made conditions difficult for both teams.
“We played really well the first half and defended well,” he said.
“The second half we fell away a little bit but it’s hard to be too critical.
“Especially coming back from England, it’s been a real contrast in con
The news may get not get any better for the Dragons, with centre Chase Stanley to undergo scans on an injured knee.
3. Cooper Cronk
2. Billy Slater
1. Jesse Bromwich