Melbourne Storm have returned to form with an impressive 48-6 victory over the Cronulla Sharks on Saturday night at AAMI Park.
The win consolidates Craig Bellamy’s side’s position in the top eight and moves them into fifth position with games still to come in Round 23.
Melbourne delivered the first blow after a deceptive Cooper Cronk kick allowed Mahe Fonua and Marika Koroibete to exchange the ball, with the latter grounding for the try.
Storm continued to be relentless in attack and quickly added two more—four Cronulla defenders were not enough to stop a rampaging Fonua on the left side, while a Jesse Bromwich offload let Sisa Waqa cross an open line for his 17th try of the season.
Not to be outdone, Bromwich crashed through under the posts to add his own name to the scorers list followed by a second for Fonua on the wing. With skipper Cameron Smith contributing a handful of conversions, Melbourne headed down the tunnel at the half with a confident 30-0 lead.
Cronulla found their first attacking set shortly after returning to the field—but a last-gasp tackle from Billy Slater denied a try for Sharks winger Sosaia Feki on the line.
Despite the visitors restoring some balance to the run of play, Bromwich put forward his case for best-on-ground after another offload opened a path for prop forward Tim Glasby to score.
James Shepherd’s side were able to break the drought through 19-year-old Valentine Holmes who inched the ball past the corner post for a career-first try, but Storm rallied to score twice before the final whistle to run out with a 48-6 win.
Melbourne Storm 48
Tries: Mahe Fonua 2, Tim Glasby 2, Marika Koroibete, Sisa Waqa, Jesse Bromwich, Will Chambers, Jordan Maclean
Goals: Cameron Smith 6
Cronulla Sharks 6
Tries: Valentine Holmes
Goals: Michael Gordon