Melbourne is not a happy hunting ground for the Cronulla Sharks and that trend continued, as the Sharks were outplayed by the Melbourne Storm in every facet of the game, eventually losing 36-18.
Two late tries made the score more respectable but it was the Storm who dominated most of the match, in front of a crowd of just over 13,000 at AAMI Park.
The loss is the third straight in Melbourne for the Sharks, at an average margin of 30 points per loss.
Melbourne showed that when you hold onto the ball and complete your sets, you score. They finished up with a percentage of 89 when it came to their completions, asserting absolute dominance.
One player who led the charge was Tohu Harris, who produced one of the best games of his career – two tries and 153 metres – was involved in everything.
Although Storm coach Craig Bellamy was pleased with aspects of his side’s performance, he knows that they took their foot off the accelerator late on and wants to see improvement in that regard.
“I was really happy with our first 30 minutes I thought he was tremendous…We planned what we wanted to do tonight and I thought for the first 30 minutes we were really good with that plan,” Bellamy said.
“Lost our way a little bit in that last 10 minutes of the first half when we went away from what we were doing.
“But I thought it was a pretty good performance overall and certainly something we can build on.”
There was nothing but praise for Harris from captain Cam Smith, who always knew that the back-rower was capable of such performances.
“Myself, the senior players and the coaches have been looking for more of a presence from Tohu on the field and he’s certainly provided that this year,” Cameron Smith said.
“We need that on our edge from him this year, we’ve been waiting for that for a while. He is a quality player, we’ve known that but we just needed him to realise that himself.”
The focus for the Sharks was on Luke Lewis in particular who made his return for the club. Admitting he might have been underdone, Sharks coach Shane Flanagan knows the more he plays, the better it will be for him.
“He was probably a little bit under done but played a little bit longer than we expected,” Shane Flanagan said.
“It will be good for Luke to get that time out there and he will be better for it.”
3. Tohu Harris
2. Jesse Bromwich
1. Marika Koroibete