Storm deliver ANZAC Day special
An ANZAC Day display to remember has seen a rampant Storm defeat the Warriors 42-0 in front of a jubilant 21,233 fans at AAMI Park.
Melbourne put in their best performance of the season to date and it came off the back of a scintiallating first half that saw the men in purple run in four tries inside the opening 23 minutes.
A total of eight tries on the night came from seven different scorers with youngster Suliasi Vunivalu making it back-to-back two try efforts to kick start his NRL career.
Skipper Cameron Smith was at his mercurial best with three try assist while Tohu Harris finished with 224 metres and was duly rewarded with the 2016 Spirit of ANZAC medal.
After a pre-game show the likes of which Australian sport has never seen Storm had every reason to be switched on from the outset and they certainly were.
It took just over three minutes for the home side to open the scoring when Smith found Harris with a simple pass out of dummy half.
The lead was soon out to 10-0 courtesy of a prop one-two punch. A late call up to the starting side, Tim Glasby repaid the coach’s faith when he latched onto a brilliant cut out pass from Jesse Bromwich to score his first try of the season.
The Warriors finally had some good ball after 10 minutes but some Cameron Munster magic soon put a stop to that. The dynamic fullback managed to turn a Warriors’ grubber kick on the Storm line into a 50 metre dash up the other end of the field.
His teammates backed up the effort of their fullback to travel the remaining 50m before Bromwich finished the job thanks to a Smith pass out of dummy half that was a near-replica of Harris’s opening try.
If Storm fans were not in dreamland yet they soon would be soon when Marika Koroibete made it four tries in just 23 minutes.
Young Tonumaipea made good on his pre-game shift to the centres when he broke through the Warriors line and off-loaded cleanly to the Fijian who carved up the remaining 40m in the blink of an eye to make it 22-0.
In a first half which provided 100m to that point, Munster was finally given reward for effort when he became fifth try scorer just five minutes from half-time.
It came courtesy of some typically fancy footwork that saw him break four would-be tacklers before scoring amidst a euphoric AAMI Park crowd.
The Warriors woes were compounded in the opening half by an injury to stand-in fullback Tuimoala Lolohea.
After a stern talking to from coach Andrew McFadden in the sheds the visitors came out with some much needed intent to start the second half.
The purple wall could not be breached and the jubilant home crowd again had cause to rise to there feet once for on 55 minutes.
Smith made it try assist number three for the night when he found his great mate Cooper Cronk who’s show-and-go saw him through to make it a 34-0 advantage.
The good times continued for the purple faithful as Vunivalu put the icing on the puple cake with a late double.
Melbourne Storm 42
Tries: Tohu Harris, Tim Glasby, Jesse Bromwich, Marika Koroibete, Cameron Munster, Cooper Cronk, Suliasi Vunivalu 2
Goals: Cameron Smith 5
New Zealand 0