They may have suffered a shock loss last week but one week is a long time in rugby league, and the clinical Melbourne Storm were at their best, recording an emphatic 32-0 win over the Brisbane Broncos.
With Gareth Widdop out and Brett Finch in the side once more, it was the veteran half who answered the critics with a solid performance alongside other veterans of the side.
Although the scoreline was emphatic, the Broncos were not all that bad. With at least 5 clear cut chances to score, it was either bombed tries, great Storm defence or luck going against them that cost them.
It was not just the Storm veterans stepping up, with prop Jesse Bromwich and winger Sisa Waqa also enjoying stellar games, all contributing to the Storm’s big win.
To compound the loss for the Broncos, centre Jack Reed re-injured the shoulder he had a reconstruction on, with the early diagnosis not a good one.
“It doesn’t look good,” Brisbane Broncocs coach Anthony Griffin said.
“He’s a pretty tough customer, Jack, so when he comes off you know he’s hurt.”
Knowing full well that it was a largely disappointing effort from his side, Griffin made no excuses for the loss and lamented their lack of execution Cialis Online and poor ball control.
“We needed to be a lot more dogmatic about what we were trying to do with the ball.
“We had multiple sets on our own line but we just didn’t have the execution or intent to really earn some points.”
With tonight’s loss, it makes the finals berth that much harder, with the Broncos needing to win 6 of their last 8 to be in with a chance to do so.
With two prior losses on the trot heading into tonight’s game, Storm coach Craig Bellamy was pleased with how his side responded.
“We were really disappointed with our performance last week and the boys came out with a really good attitude tonight,” Bellamy said.
“Some of our tryline defence tonight was outstanding – there was a couple of real close shaves there.”
Another key factor for Bellamy was that his side did enough to frustrate the visitors, by not allowing them to put the finishing touch on their attacking plays.
“That can cause some frustration when you get that close and you can’t get over the line.
“They probably played good enough footy to get over the line but some last-ditch defence saved it for us.”
3. Cam Smith
2. Jesse Bromwich
1. Brett Finch