Throwback Thursday: An Eels blitz
Days do not get much better than they did on an overcast afternoon at AAMI Park in Round 24, 2013.
Melbourne went into the game looking to secure a top four finish and were coming up against a Parramatta side that had won just three games for the season so far.
This was a clear mismatch on paper but the opening minutes suggested anything but.
Rookie winger Semi Radradra, playing just the fifth game of his career, scored down the left edge inside the first three minutes.
It was a surprising start but the four point deficit soon disappeared as they reigning premiers hit back five minutes later when Brett Finch sent Ryan Hoffman through a gaping hole in the Eels defence.
In the 15th minute Storm edged further in front with a play commentator Ray Warren described at the time as ‘indefenceable.’
A perfectly weighted Cooper Cronk kick landed in the lap of Sisa Waqa who cut inside to find a surging Billy Slater.
Parra managed to hang in the contest for a period of time but their resistance was broken just before half-time when Hoffman made it two for the day and doubled his try scoring tally for the season in what was a replica of Storm’s opening try.
The 16-4 half-time score was not quite an impossible task for Ricky Stuart’s men but what happened next would leave them with the biggest of mountains to climb.
Less than five minutes after the restart, Joseph Paulo was sent to the sin bin after after holding onto Justin O’Neill too long. That was all the invite Storm needed to open a purple party.
Will Chambers brushed off three defenders to score the first of what would turn out to be a memorable second half.
The only person who would perhaps have had trouble remembering was forward Jason Ryles. The now Storm assistant coach received an almighty falcon to the head, sending him tumbling to the AAMI Park turf.