The previously out of sorts Melbourne Storm bounced back in the best way possible, bursting out of the blocks to eventually complete an impressive 28-8 victory over the undefeated Brisbane Broncos.

It was a welcome return to form for the 2007 premiers, shrugging off back-to-back losses with a dominant five tries to two victory in front of a parochial Melbourne crowd.

The class of the Storm’s outside backs was a real highlight, with underrated winger Anthony Quinn crossing for a hat-trick, and Israel Folau particularly strong, scoring a try against his future club.

Storm fullback Billy Slater put his hand up for a Test match recall with another impressive display, with the flying custodian lethal with every touch.

It took the defending premiers just nine minutes to post opening points, with a beautiful wrap-around pass by an explosive Billy Slater allowing Quinn to score his first of the night.

New Broncos signing Folau extended the home sides lead just ten minutes later, with the gangly centre able to outleap opposite Denan Kemp to score the Storm’s second converted try.

The visitors finally got on the board through a try to rookie winger Reece Robinson, with the dashing winger able to evade a handful of Storm defenders to slide over in the corner.

Broncos hooker Michael Ennis failed with his sideline conversion much to the glee of the parochial home crowd, leaving the competition front runners trailing 4-12.

Ryan Hoffman’s try just two minutes out from the half-time break was the straw that broke the camels back however, with the Origin backrower accepting the crumbs from a spilt Robinson bomb, to gift the Storm a convincing 18-4 lead at the break.

Despite starting from the bench due to a troublesome knee injury, inspirational Brisbane skipper Darren Lockyer gave his side a sniff when he manufactured a try for starting five-eight David Stagg.

Ennis again failed with his conversion attempt, leaving the Broncos trailing by ten inside the final quarter.

But further tries to Quinn in the 67th and 73rd minutes completed the rout, with the Storm consigning the injury depleted Broncos to their first defeat of 2008.

The Broncos will hope to be at full strength ahead of their match against the Knights in Newcastle next Sunday, whilst the Storm will play host to the Sea-Eagles in an ’07 grand final replay next Friday night.

Melbourne Storm 28
Tries: Anthony Quinn 3, Israel Folau, Ryan Hoffman
Goals: Cameron Smith 4
Brisbane Broncos 8

Tries: Reece Robinson, David Stagg

At Olympic Park

Referee – Jared Maxwell

By ricky

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