Melbourne Storm returned to the winner’s list in style, running out 36-14 victors against the Titans on Sunday.
In front of 10,521 at AAMI Park, Craig Bellamy’s side responded after a slow start to take control of the contest in the second 40 minutes, scoring six tries after half time.
Storm found themselves under threat early as the Gold Coast’s enterprising play yielded the afternoon’s first points. Neil Henry’s side elected to take a penalty goal with Aiden Sezer kicking truly to give the Titans a two point lead.
The visitors backed up their positive start, extending their lead when Kane Elgey crossed for the afternoon’s first try.
Near misses for Kevin Proctor and Matt Duffie meant Melbourne still trailed by eight points despite a solid share of possession in the opening half an hour.
After being denied on the sideline moments earlier, Duffie put himself in the right position at the right time to score his first NRL try since returning from injury three weeks ago, bringing Storm to within two points of the Titans at half-time.
Melbourne started the second half in the best possible fashion, taking the lead as winger Marika Koroibete scored in his sixth straight match. With the momentum clearly lying with the hosts, fullback Cameron Munster provided Storm with some breathing space after being released on the inside by five-eighth Blake Green.
Clicking into gear, Duffie scored his second of the afternoon to hand Melbourne a 14-point advantage with the winger’s trademark acrobatics finishing off a precise kick from Cooper Cronk.
The Titans rallied looking to fight back late in the contest with Josh Hoffman’s 66th minute try before a settler from Will Chambers followed by Munster’s second sealed the result.
Melbourne Storm 36
Tries: Matthew Duffie 33m, Marika Koroibete 43m, Cameron Munster 52m, Matthew Duffie 57m, Will Chambers 70m, Cameron Munster 73m, Cameron Munster 79m
Goals: Cameron Smith 4
Gold Coast Titans 14
Tries: Kane Elgey 18m, Josh Hoffman 66m
Goals: Aiden Sezer 3