Cameron Munster was on fire for the Melbourne Storm, scoring the second hat-trick of his career in the Melbourne Storm’s win over the Gold Coast Titans.
The game marked the return to fullback for Munster with injuries to both Ryan Papenhuyzen and Cam Munster and the Queensland five-eighth excelled.
The sole dampener on his and the Storm’s performance, however, was a possible shoulder subluxation injury suffered by half Jahrome Hughes.
After a tough 10 opening ten minutes, it was the Storm who would score first points on the back of stellar vision from hooker Harry Grant.
Sensing that the Titans winger was expecting a play back in-field, he was able to catch him off pass with a bullet pass from dummy half for Xavier Coates to score with ease in his return game.
Munster’s first then came on the back of pinpoint accuracy from Hughes, with a crossfield kick seeing the fullback fly highest to nab the ball and score near the posts.
A third Storm try followed as a shift to the left saw the space open up for Kenny Bromwich and the veteran back-rower did the rest, pacing his way over to score.
The Titans hit back as a pass – that was not initially meant for Beau Fermor – found its way into the back-rowers’ hands he palmed off one defender and scored with pressure around him.
A second Titans try came just two minutes later when AJ Brimson found a rampaging Herman Ese’ese to barge over and score with ease.
At 16-10, the Titans were right in the contest and they knew it, too.
As the Storm marched down the field, however, Munster yet again showed his class.
This time, he dummied, shimmied, hit the gap, and had far too much pace and class.
Down 22-10 but not out of the contest, the first points of the second half went to the Titans. Brimson strayed across the field, grubbered and found Brian Kelly who reached the ball first.
Munster would get his third and hat-trick as he coasted through a gap as first receiver. In the end, it was poor Titans defence.
At the death, the Storm would score their final try of the game.
Off the scrum play, they shifted left and Cooper Johns fired a ball over the top to the returning Young Tonumaipea who snapped the ball up and scored.
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Cameron Munster (C)
2. Cooper Johns
1. Harry Grant