There was some talk among fans that the Storm may not have what it takes to go back-to-back this year after a tough period during Origin and more losses than we are used to seeing – but if today’s performance is anything to go by, they are well and truly still in the race.
Heading into the game with some inconsistent form in previous games, from the word go, the Canberra Raiders did not stand a chance as a clinical Storm outfit blew the Raiders off the park and ended the Raiders streak of 12 straight games won at home.
To make matters worse for the Raiders, it was the heaviest defeat for the club in their history, with the margin of 64 points eclipsing the previous biggest margin of 51 points in a loss to the Parramatta Eels back in 2003.
It was the back-line who starred, with Mahe Fonua – who came in for an injured Justin O’Neill on the wing – producing a stellar performance, including a try assist that was reminiscent of Greg Inglis’ effort to keep the ball alive in the Centenary Test.
The loss moves the Raiders for and against to -104 but they do stay in seventh position, with the Storm moving equal on points with Manly, as points differential is the only thing separating the two sides.
With Canberra usually a tough place to come and win, let alone win big, Storm coach Craig Bellamy admits that his side was expecting a tough game.
“We came here expecting a real tough game and we always get that here,” said Bellamy Viagra Online.
“Even at half-time, it didn’t feel like what it really was at 30 points to 4.
“A couple of tries we scored early were a bit freakish or lucky, whichever way you want to look at it and I thought our ball control was good and our attack was really good today.”
With their attack in full-swing and on show, wingers Mahe Fonua and Sisa Waqa picked up hat-tricks, whilst centre Will Chambers grabbed a double.
The Storm, who had their doubters heading into the clash said the game was not so much about making a statement but rather putting in a good performance.
“It wasn’t so much a statement, no,” said captain Cam Smith.
“Craig was right – we just wanted to put in a good performance and a good team performance, as we were very disappointed with last week’s game.
On the flipside, it was a night to forget for the Raiders, as they were manhandled in every fashion with Raiders coach David Furner admitting as such.
“When you’re going to let go of a home fortress, we did it pretty bad,” said Furner.
“I don’t know what the players are feeling, because I don’t know what to say right now, to be honest.”
The heavy loss was unexpected even for Furner, with the coach saying his side trained well and that there were no signs they would cop such a heavy defeat.
“There were no signs and we trained quite well during the week – I did see some signs on the field but.”
3. Mahe Fonua
2. Sisa Waqa
1. Cooper Cronk