Another medial ligament injury to Cameron Munster has soured the Storm's emphatic 41-10 win over the Bulldogs at Sunshine Coast Stadium with the star five-eighth expected to miss two to three weeks of action.
It was a case of déjà vu for Munster who suffered the injury in the 54th minute while on the attack. He landed heavily on his right kneecap in a tackle as his leg twisted under a tackle by Josh Jackson.
It was the same knee that Munster injured against the Warriors in round seven. He subsequently missed two weeks with a medial ligament strain on that occasion.
The Storm were without major weapons in injured captain Cameron Smith along with rested duo Ryan Papenhuyzen and Dale Finucane.
The rest of their arsenal still fired plenty of shots and fullback Nicho Hynes was one of them in a scintillating display at the back.
Match: Storm v Bulldogs
Round 13 -
Venue: Sunshine Coast Stadium, Sunshine Coast
Munster stepped up in Smith's absence as the master conductor with his passing and running game on song. He also led the enthusiasm stakes and chased his own kicks to be first on hand to make the tackle.
The Storm looked dangerous early on the edges but handling errors cost them while the Bulldogs threw the ball around with a carefree abandon more reminiscent of the early 1980s Canterbury entertainers.
Munster leaves the field with knee injury
Dylan Napa gave a nod to Warren Ryan's "Dogs of War" with a bell-ringer on Tino Fa'asuamaleaui to jolt the ball free and the first 10 minutes was frenetic.
It proved too frenetic for the Bulldogs with a Lachlan Lewis cut-out pass snaffled by Josh Addo-Carr, who raced 90 metres to score under the sticks.
Munster danced through to combine with Hynes at the start of one set of six, and it was a sleight-of-hand Munster pass to Hynes from dummy-half that finished it to make the score 12-0 after as many minutes.
Munster and Hynes were at it again with the stand-in Storm fullback putting a bullocking Justin Olam on his way for a 40-metre run to the corner.
Kenny Bromwich, who created plenty on his left attacking edge, crashed over from a Brandon Smith pass in the 22nd minute and the Storm were ticking over at a point per minute.
Kieran Foran always looked most likely to be the provider for the Bulldogs and he was for their first try courtesy of a looping ball to new recruit Tim Lafai to score wide out.
Munster landed a field goal on the cusp of half-time to give the Storm a 23-4 lead at the break.
Munster sends Hynes over on the shortside
Hooker Sione Katoa came into his own early in the second half and the away side began the stanza with vigour. Reimis Smith leapt high to grab a pinpoint Foran kick to score and give his side a sniff.
Lewis was sin-binned for a high shot on Addo-Carr and Munster left the field soon afterwards. The Bulldogs were on the attack and threatening when Suliasi Vunivalu toed ahead a loose ball and raced 80 metres to score. Kenny Bromwich finished a sweeping right-to-left play to score his second as the Storm put the result beyond doubt.
Addo-Carr finishes it in style for the Storm
Addo-Carr capped a stunning match when he chased a booming Hughes kick to score just before the dead-ball line.
Fa'asuamaleaui gave his Maroons chances a boost with a barnstorming display at lock while Hughes celebrated his 50th NRL match for the Storm in style.
Double goose step comes good for Olam