Melbourne Storm have returned to the winner’s list in Round 9, defeating the Eels 28-10 in Parramatta.
A clinical second half performance from Storm allowed Craig Bellamy’s side to consolidate their position inside the NRL top eight, holding Parramatta scoreless in the final 40 minutes.
A double to fullback Billy Slater coupled with second half tries to Marika Koroibete, Will Chambers and Dale Finucane helped the visitors to the 18-point victory, their sixth of the season so far.
Storm take on reigning premiers South Sydney at AAMI Park, Saturday 16 May from 7:30pm. Get your tickets.
After Tim Mannah went close for Parramatta at the southern end of Pirtek Stadium within the opening five minutes of play, Melbourne rebounded to take the lead to begin the clash.
Returning from a shoulder injury, fullback Billy Slater wasted no time scoring his first try of 2015, giving Melbourne an early advantage after a weaving run from Mahe Fonua.
Earning several opportunities deep in attack, the Eels finally found a response in the 18th minute of play through Will Hopoate. Hopoate was instrumental again, turning provider for Ryan Morgan shortly after as the Eels continued to attack Melbourne’s left edge defence and take a narrow lead.
An entertaining first half drew to a close with both sides locked at 10-10 heading into the break after Slater crossed for his second try of the match, proving his worth and guile in attack, getting into the right place for a Kevin Proctor offload.
Craig Bellamy’s side began the second stanza of play in the best possible way, finding the try line through a familiar source. Continuing his brilliant start to the 2015 season, Marika Koroibete found some space on the left wing to score off a Cooper Cronk kick.
The visitors then found some breathing space when centre Will Chambers, fresh off his Australian Test debut last weekend found the try line to finish off a sweeping attacking play.
Holding onto a 12-point advantage, Melbourne continued to press and left Parramatta with a mountain to climb when Dale Finucane pounced on an error from Eels winger Semi Radradra.
Melbourne Storm 28
Tries: Billy Slater 6m, Billy Slater 33m, Marika Koroibete 45m, Will Chambers 52m, Dale Finucane 69m
Goals: Cameron Smith 4
Parramatta Eels 10
Tries: William Hopoate 18m, Ryan Morgan 30m
Goals: Chris Sandow 1