Storm march on to the big dance
Melbourne Storm have booked their place in the 2017 NRL Grand Final after dismantling the Broncos 28-0 at AAMI Park.
When the big moments arrived Melbourne delivered when in mattered most, putting on a clinic in front of 28,821 fans, the second biggest crowd ever at AAMI Park.
Billy Slater scored two tries as the Storm attack was simply too strong for the Broncos.
However the story was all about this incredible Melbourne defence, which kept Brisbane scoreless for the first time since 2013.
It was a start well worthy of a Preliminary Final as the ball moved up and down the field at a frantic pace.
Both sides had their chances with the football but it was ultimately a penalty that saw Cameron Smith break the deadlock with his boot after 19 minutes.
Rather than fall into a steady rhytm the temp only increased as the half wore on.
Several Storm errors had them on the back foot but despite being forced to defend off their own line for long periods of time the purple wall stood tall.
That defensive master class paid off in the shadows of half-time when Curtis Scott produced a brilliant offload to Josh Addo-Carr who streaked away to put Storm into an 8-point lead.
With the game in the balance it would be yet another similar pattern of play from the Melbourne boys that would help bust the contest wide open.
Again, the Broncos would throw everything at them but there was simple no way through this incredible Storm defence.
After weathering Brisbane’s best Storm then set about picking them apart at the other end of the field.
Another clever offload from Felise Kaufusi set up Billy Slater to score in the corner.
Then the purple party really started when Nelson Asofa-Solomona collected the ball 10 metres out and simply steamrolled his way over to send the home crowd into raptures.
It was then a Cronk to Slater special to hand the fullback his double and send Storm Grand Final bound.
Melbourne Storm 30
Tries: Billy Slater 2, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Josh Addo-Carr
Goals: Cameron Smith 6, Tohu Harris
Brisbane Broncos 0