Storm consolidate top spot
A blistering Melbourne attacking performance has helped Storm consolidate its place at the top of the NRL ladder.
Four first half tries gave Craig Bellamy’s side the ascendency, allowing them to control the contest away from home.
Suliasi Vunivalu continued his remarkable try scoring form to open Melbourne’s account on Sunday afternoon. A kick from an unlikely source, Billy Slater spotted an outstretched Vunivalu on the right wing to stun the locals early with his 30th career try.
Capitalizing on a strong start, Storm made it two tries from two sets shortly after when Cameron Munster found Josh Addo-Carr with a cutout ball on the opposite wing to double the visitors’ advantage.
Melbourne’s wingers continued to make the most of their chances during the first half with Vunivalu’s acrobatics extending the lead before Addo-Carr’s speed finished off another attacking raid.
A late first half Jason Nightingale try brought the Dragons back into the contest just before the break however Melbourne’s start to the second half thwarted any hopes of a comeback.
Billy Slater’s first try in Storm colours since his return from injury kicked Melbourne out further before he then made it a second half double thanks to a strong supporting run from Vunivalu.
As they did in the opening stanza, St. Goerge Illawarra pegged back the Melbourne lead. Late tries to McInnes, Nightingale and Sims were not enough for the hosts as Storm recorded their eighth win of the season.
Melbourne Storm 34
Tries: Josh Addo-Carr 2, Suliasi Vunivalu 2, Billy Slater 2
Goals: Cameron Smith 5
St.George Illawarra 22
Tries: Jason Nightingale 3, Cameron McInnes, Tariq Sims
Goals: Josh Dugan 1