The Melbourne Storm will tell you that whilst it might not have been their best performance, they will take the win as they cruised to a 26-10 win over the New Zealand Warriors in Auckland last night.
With torrential rain threatening to make conditions difficult for both sides, the Storm proved that they can adapt to any conditions, making just 7 errors.
Whilst it is not a long-term thing, the loss of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck due to concussion hurt the Warriors chances in a game that they failed to wrestle any momentum in.
Just seven minutes into the game, the Storm were on the board with Cronk and Kenny Bromwich combining and they could have had another one had the bunker not denied them a try.
The Warriors fought their way back into the contest at this point and scored two unanswered tries to take the lead before the Storm retook the lead through a Cheyse Blair try.
This marked a momentous occasion in the game for Storm captain Cameron Smith who became the first Queenslander and forward to score 2000 points.
As the second half began, the Warriors should have scored again but Solomone Kata dropped the ball over the line in a handling error that ended up costing the Warriors.
In the end, further tries to winger Suliasi Vunivalu and Cooper Cronk plus a penalty goal by Smith sealed the Storm’s second win of the season.
Smith praised his side’s defence and knew they had to play a certain way in light of the conditions.
“We tried to kick long early … a combination of controlling the footy and tackling well, I thought our defence was great tonight, had a lot of intensity and energy, ” Smith said.
“Nice to be able to get two wins away on the road.
“We chanced our arm a bit and I think the Warriors tonight too so I thought it was a high quality game for the conditions.”
Player of the Game:
3. Cameron Munster
2. Cooper Cronk
- Shaun Johnson
Melbourne Storm 26 (Kenny Bromwich, Cheyse Blair, Suliasi Vunivalu, Cooper Cronk tries; Cameron Smith 5 goals) defeated New Zealand Warriors 10 (Tuimoala Lolohea, Shaun Johnson tries; Johnson 1 goal) at Mt Smart Stadium. Half-time: 12-10. Crowd: 9,811.