The Melbourne Storm moved to 5 wins from 7 matches to start the season after thrashing the New Zealand Warriors at AAMI park in Melbourne 42-20.
After a moving tribute to our fallen soldiers, emotions ran high and Melbourne got off to the perfect start crossing over off the back of a brilliant kick from Jahrome Hughes.
Not long after, Ken Maumalo crossed over in the corner to make it 6-4.
It was then all Melbourne who scored 20 unanswered points and Hughes was at his scintillating best setting up 4 tries for the match.
With the match evenly poised, a rather contentious decision to send Josh Curran to the sin-bin had Warriors fans baffled.
The Warriors felt extremely hard done by as the hit seemed more like a head clash.
Storm winger George Jennings, unfortunately, did not return to the game.
With the extra man, the Storm capitalised. Hughes took the line on and found Felise Kaufusi to power through a gap for a simple try.
Hughes’ deft touch at the line was too much for the Warriors to handle and he was involved again, this time finding Nicho Hynes who jinked his way over.
The Warriors just had no answer for Hughes as he broke the line once again, this time finding Reimis Smith on his outside for his first try.
Some quick hands down the right edge saw Smith one-on-one with debutant Reece Walsh, as he stepped past him and planted the ball down for his second.
The Warriors’ resolve shone through, though, as a simple crash play saw Ben Murdoch-Masila bustle his way over.
Hynes would turn provider for the Storm’s next try with a beautiful cut-out ball for Justin Olam who did the rest.
A scrum play caught the Warriors off-guard as Cameron Munster lofted a pass over to Josh Addo-Carr to score his first try.
Addo-Carr, or perhaps Mr. Twinkle Toes himself, tip-toed down the sideline and then had too much speed back inside, as he raced away for his second try.
As the Storm went to a commanding 42-10 lead, it was not all doom and gloom for the Warriors after the unearthing of Reece Walsh.
He only joined the club 15 days ago and is still 18 years of age.
Making his NRL debut, he set up 2 late tries via a pass and a kick which saw Ken Maumalo score a hatrick on the wing.
There was one man drawing all the praise from Storm coach Craig Bellamy post-game and it was Jahrome Hughes.
“I thought he was our best player quite easily actually,” Bellamy said post-match.
“That first half-hour, he had spiders on him.
“His kicking game was good, his defence was really good and he has been a real key for us this year.”
Although he has a bright future, plenty of work is also on the horizon for Walsh but Warriors coach Nathan Brown was also pleased.
“We could see Reece’s talent there today and he is a very talented kid,” Brown said.
“He has got a lot of work to do on his game, but any player to have two try assists on debut in a good effort, especially against Melbourne and when you are 18.”
NRL News Player of the Game
3 points – Jahrome Hughes
2 points – Nicho Hynes
1 point – Josh Addo-Carr