The Melbourne Storm have rebounded in style from a misfiring Magic Round performance to down the Broncos 24-16 at AAMI Park on Thursday night.
Coming off a disappointing loss to Souths, the Storm's big guns took it upon themselves to restore pride, with Cameron Munster and Jahrome Hughes scoring tries and laying them on as Melbourne beat Brisbane for the 13th time in a row.
The Broncos lost their skipper Adam Reynolds to a head knock in the first half and hung tough for most of the night but ill-discipline proved costly as they had three players sent to the sin bin.
The Storm struck the first blow after 12 minutes when Harry Grant and Munster combined for the game's opening try, the gun No.9 putting his five-eighth into a gaping hole from close range.
Munster powers over
Four minutes later the home side went close again when Munster put Justin Olam away on the left edge only for Broncos fullback Reece Walsh to come up with a trysaver to deny the PNG flyer.
The Broncos hit back in the 17th minute when a penalty try was awarded after Grant pushed Herbie Farnworth in the back as he led the race to the ball as it rolled into the in-goal.
In his desperation to get to the rolling ball, Reynolds landed heavily on his head as he dived for the ball and was taken from the field on a medicab.
Warbrick in the corner
With Reynolds out of the match it was Walsh who stepped up in the 25th minute when he produced a superb long pass to put Jesse Arthars over in the corner and the Broncos led 10-6.
The Broncos lost Farnworth to the sin bin in the 38th minute for a professional foul and the Storm made them pay immediately when Reimis Smith delivered the final pass for Will Warbrick to score.
Four minutes into the second half the Storm looked to have hit the lead when Munster's bomb was put down by Walsh and the ball was spun wide for Warbrick to cross wide out but the bunker ruled Xavier Coates had been in front of the kicker and went inside the 10 metres.
The Storm got across the line again in the 51st minute when Eliesa Katoa was cruising into the in-goal but Broncos five-eighth Ezra Mam was able to knock the ball loose with a last-ditch tackle to save the day for the visitors.
The Broncos went down a man again in the 56th minute when Patrick Carrigan was sin binned for a hip drop tackle and the penalty goal to Nick Meaney gave Melbourne a 12-10 lead.
Walsh putting on a show
Again the Broncos were made to pay for being down a man when a cross field kick by Hughes was tapped back by Coates to Olam who touched down for his third try of the season. Meaney dragged the conversion attempt to the left to leave the margin at six points.
Meaney made amends soon after when he slotted a penalty goal after Billy Walters was pinged for a late tackle on Munster and the Storm led 18-10.
With five minutes to play the Storm put the game to bed when Warbrick grabbed his second courtesy of another pinpoint kick to the corner from Hughes.
A consolation try to Cory Paix in the 78th minute was followed by the sin binning of Thomas Flegler and Aaron Pene, taking Brisbane's sin bin count for the night to three as they were left to rue an opportunity lost against a side they haven't beaten at AAMI Park in seven years.
Match: Storm v Broncos
Round 11 -
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
- Broncos skipper Adam Reynolds left the field on a medicab in the 17th minute after landing heavily on his head. He failed his HIA.
- Broncos centre Herbie Farnworth was sin binned in the 38th minute for a professional foul.
- Broncos prop Payne Haas came into the game averaging 194 run metres per match and produced 215 metres to go with eight tackle breaks.
- Storm centre Reimis Smith was placed on report in the 32nd minute for a dangerous tackle.
- Storm forward Aaron Pene and Broncos prop Thomas Flegler were both sin binned in the 78th minute after a push and shove in the play the ball.
- Cameron Munster's five-star performance included a try, two line breaks, two tackle breaks and 394 kick metres.
Farnworth awarded a penalty try
- Kevin Walters has now been involved in 300 games for the Brisbane Broncos - 59 as coach and 241 as a player.
- The Storm have won 13 consecutive games against the Broncos, who have not won at AAMI Park since 2016.
- Reece Walsh was supreme for the Broncos with 173 run metres, one try assist and six tackle breaks.
- Broncos prop Patrick Carrigan was placed on report and sin binned in the 56th minute for a hip drop tackle on Nelson Asofa-Solomona.
- Trent Loiero and Josh King got through a power of work in defence with 74 tackles between them for the Storm.
- Patrick Carrigan ran for 225 metres for the Broncos from 26 runs.
Reynolds taken from the field
Play of the Game
Ezra Mam's attack has been dazzling in 2023 but it was a huge defensive play that would have had his coach Kevin Walters in raptures in the 51st minute at AAMI Park. With Storm halfback Jahrome Hughes slicing through and finding Eliesa Katoa in support the home side were certain to score but Mam refused to concede, launching himself at the back-rower and dislodging the ball. A knock on was ruled against Katoa and the scores remained at 10-10.
Mam saves it at the end
What They Said
"It was a strange sort of game in that there were so many 50-50 things that happened that seemed to have an influence on the game at that moment. And it just seemed to go forever but we're happy with the result and the boys can have a couple of days off and put their feet up. Early in the first half there was a period of play that went for about seven or eight minutes without a stop and that's a long time in our game but that was about the only one, everything else seemed to be stop-start, stop-start. I think [the game] is very inconsistent with the hip drop. I think Pat Carrigan was very unlucky to go to the sin bin so I thought was a really tough decison but that was sort of the way the game went tonight." - Storm coach Craig Bellamy
Storm: Round 11
"I'm pretty frustrated actually. We came here to play football, that's what we've been doing all year, and I just don't feel that we got a game of football. I'll take the loss, we've lost before, but this is two good teams going at it and it just didn't become a game of football. I didn't feel like we saw a good game of footy. We had three guys sin binned, it's hard to win when that happens. Were they fair sin binnings? I won't make any comment because my contract's not big enough to pay the fine. Good luck to the Storm, they deserved to win, but the good thing from our point of view is we have come here in a tough environment, the last time we came here we got beaten by 50, so I reckon we've made some improvements." - Broncos coach Kevin Walters
Broncos: Round 11
A massive weekend of footy at Suncorp Stadium in Round 12 with the Broncos facing the Panthers on Thursday night and the Storm up against Wayne Bennett's Dolphins on Saturday night. The Broncos are set to be without skipper Adam Reynolds after he hurt his neck and shoulder and also failed a HIA.