Forced to leave Melbourne late in the week due to COVID and arriving in Queensland at 2am, you would be forgiven for thinking the Storm would be tired against the Newcastle Knights.
You thought wrong, as the Storm blitzed the Knights in every facet to dominate proceedings and win 48-4.
The Storm could do everything right and everything went wrong for the Knights in general and with their attack.
The game started like most Storm games do, with the Melbourne side scoring the first try.
It would be Nicho Hynes involved as he set up Justin Olam who strolled over with ease.
The two halves would then combine soon after as Jahrome Hughes made the break, with Cam Munster in support to finish the play off.
George Jennings would then get on the scoresheet when he was on the receiving end of a slick play.
Not done in the first half yet, Hughes would get a try of his own with some nifty skills.
As would Hynes, who, in the absence of Ryan Papenhuyzen, has more than proven his worth and effectiveness for the Storm.
Up 30-0 at the break, the Storm had remarkably scored 100 points in the first half in their last three games and kept the opposition to nil.
The Storm juggernaut rolled on as Hughes kicked ahead for himself, got the lucky bounce and found Reimis Smith in support to score.
Another slick play down the right saw George Jennings score his second but the Knights would get on the scoresheet.
Englishman Dom Young was the scorer, who finished acrobatically in the corner.
The final try would go to the Storm, however, as Cam Munster blitzed the Knights defence and found Olam to score his second.
It was not all smooth sailing for the Storm, however, as they face several injuries.
Dale Finucane left the field and did not return with a HIA, George Jennings suffered a PCL injury, Tui Kamikamica cramped up and Aaron Booth popped a shoulder back in.
Hughes drew praise galore from coach Craig Bellamy post-game, who admits it was a gamble to play Hughes at halfback but it has paid off.
“Hughesy just seems to be able to create something out of nothing,” coach Craig Bellamy said.
“You don’t see anything there but then he goes there and comes out the other side.
“He’s a remarkable player – he’s got nous, he’s got speed, he’s got skill.
“It was a big decision to put him into halfback and he’s made a real success of it.
“With all due respect, I wouldn’t swap him for anyone, or any halfback in the game.”
Despite possible HIA concerns for both Kalyn Ponga and David Klemmer, Knights coach Adam O’Brien say the duo will be fine for next week.
“They’re both good, I just spoke to them then,” O’Brien said.
It seemed like the contact was accidental but O’Brien wasn’t so sure.
“Kalyn in particular is disappointed. He’s fine. It wasn’t on report or a penalty so he’s disappointed but it is what it is and we’ll get on with it.
“It wasn’t the reason why we put that performance in.”
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Jahrome Hughes (MEL)
2. Justin Olam (MEL)
1. Nicho Hynes (MEL)