The Melbourne Storm belted the Brisbane Broncos into submission last night, recording a 60-12 win, their biggest ever against the Broncos.
The win has the Storm on the cusp of cementing a top four spot and has the Broncos soul-searching despite being rooted in the eight.
Craig Bellamy and his Storm side has enjoyed some stretch of wins over the Broncos, making it twelve straight dating back to 2009.
Despite the win, there were a few injury concerns for the Storm with Xavier Coates (concussion), Tui Kamikamica (back) and Tyran Wishart (ankle), all facing nervous waiting periods.
As both sides settled in, it was the Storm who would trouble the scorers first.
A shift to the right saw Nelson Asofa-Solomona – who was playing on the edge – produce an offload for Young Tonumaipea and he did the rest, charging over to score.
Against the run of play, the Broncos then hit back minutes later when a string of diabolical passes eventually saw Kurt Capewell score.
He pounced on a loose Xavier Coates pass, who was trying to keep the ball in play, and coasted away to score and put the score at 6-all.
Harry Grant then did what he does best, putting the ball on a platter for Kamikamica to score with ease.
The Storm then went left as Justin Olam hit the line up hard, miraculously offloaded despite several defenders and the ball dribbled out to David Nofoaluma to score.
Two heavyweights then combined when Grant deftly grubbered ahead with Cam Munster winning the race and showing great control to ground the ball.
It was a perfect kicking night for Nick Meaney at that point who went 4/4 as the Storm headed into the sheds leading 24-6.
The second half saw things go further downhill for the Broncos as Grant capped off a man-of-the-match performance with a darting dummy half try of his own.
Olam then got in on the act with his first, showing his brute strength to power past Kotoni Staggs and score with ease.
The left then got in some more action as Olam nabbed his second, on the receiving end of an offload from Kenny Bromwich.
The only second half highlight for the Broncos came via the boot of Reynolds who kicked ahead for Corey Oates in space, who did well enough to hold the ball and score.
A penalty for a high tackle gave Meaney to continue his perfect run and he slotted the goal for a 44-12 lead.
Munster and Jahrome Hughes then combined as the halfback went flying through a gap and then evaded several defenders on his way to score.
Playing down the right this time, the Storm shift eventually found Asofa-Solomona who showed strength, poise and a long reach to plant the ball down.
To rub as much salt into the already open wound as possible, a bomb was taken by Nofoaluma who coasted 70m to score and cap off an impressive Storm win.
Broncos coach Kevin Walters admitted his side were taught a lesson and lacked resiliency in the second half.
“It was a good lesson on how to play rugby league for our boys,” Walters said.
“First half not a lot of things went our way, but we just didn’t have that resilience in the second half to get ourselves back in the game.”
Storm coach Craig Bellamy played coy despite the win, admitting his side still has some tweaks to make.
“We just kept working hard [to get out of the recent losing streak] and probably narrowed down a few things that we needed to do… we have still got a bit of work to do,” Bellamy said.
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Harry Grant (MEL)
2. Nelson Asofa-Solomona (MEL)
1. Jesse Bromwich (MEL)