An inspired performance from Cameron Munster and hat-trick to Xavier Coates has helped the Storm to a comfortable 28-8 victory over the Roosters in the wet at AAMI Park on Thursday night.
In a match that was expected to be a close encounter given the battles between the two clubs in the past, it was the Storm who turned up to play in the greasy conditions to secure their fourth win of the season.
Munster was at his electric best in the opening half as the Storm took advantage of a 12-man Roosters outfit for 10 minutes to take an 18-8 lead into half-time.
Both sides traded tries through Jaxson Paulo and Coates early before Victor Radley was sin-binned in the 28th minute for a late tackle on Munster.
Munster set up Nick Meaney with a pinpoint kick near the line to grab the side's second of the evening shortly after before Meaney returned serve to set up the Storm five-eighth under the posts.
Coates hits back for Melbourne
Another two tries to Coates set up a comfortable 18-point lead in the second half with the Roosters starved of field position and guilty of ill-discipline.
That discipline that was with the Roosters last week did not improve with costly errors from Brandon Smith and Sam Walker capping an off night for the Tricolours.
A penalty goal via Munster after late contact on Jahrome Hughes extended the lead to 20 in the match but it never really looked too worrying for the Storm who outclassed the Roosters in every area.
Match: Storm v Roosters
Round 6 -
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
- Cameron Munster and Nick Meaney set up two tries each in the win, playing an influential part in the win.
- Storm winger Xavier Coates has now scored 16 tries in 12 games at AAMI Park and fourth career hat-trick.
- The battle between Harry Grant and Brandon Smith was comfortably won by Grant, who looked threatening all night and kicked an impressive 40/20 in the conditions.
- The Roosters completed at just 61 per cent while Melbourne enjoyed 60 per cent possession throughout the evening.
- The Roosters missed 42 tackles to Melbourne's 18 while they came up with 14 errors.
- Victor Radley was sent to the sin-bin in the 28th minute for a late tackle on Munster with the Storm running in two tries in this period.
- Storm forwards Tui Kamikamica (108), Christian Welch (113), Eliesa Katoa (106) and Josh King (125) all cracked over 100 metres for the Storm up front.
- The Storm have now won six of their past seven games against the Roosters.
Play of the game
The Storm could sense an opportunity when Victor Radley left the paddock for 10 minutes with their third try of the night opening up a decent lead. Ryan Papenhuyzen may be missing from the Storm line-up but Nick Meaney's ability to link with Cameron Munster has meant the side's attack has not wavered in 2023.
A Storm special
What they said
"They really controlled where they gave us back the ball. Their end of sets, they outclassed us there, it was disappointing. [The sin bin]... I guess we got some things this week from the NRL saying you can't do that. If that happened to Kez (Luke Keary) I wouldn't be happy. It wasn't necassary and wasn't the end of the world at the same time. I want him (Victor Radley) to fix it, he's made some good progression this year. He made a mistake there but we won't dwell on it for too long." - Roosters coach Trent Robinson.
"There were certainly some improvements from last week, I think we went a couple more steps tonight. We controlled the ball and that made it easier on our defence. I thought we closed the game down in the last 25 minutes we showed a lot of patience which wasn't a strong point in the first two to three rounds. It was a well-controlled performance." - Storm coach Craig Bellamy.
NRL Press Conference: Storm v Roosters - Round 6, 2023
Both sides will have an eight-day turnaround before away games in Sydney next Friday night. The Roosters take on Cronulla at PointsBet Stadium with the likes of James Tedesco, Matt Lodge and Nathan Brown expected to be nearing returns. Melbourne clash with Manly at 4 Pines Park in a Battle of Brookie that is set to be a belter.