The Melbourne Storm continued their run of victories over the Brisbane Broncos as they prevailed 32-16 at AAMI Park.
The opening 15 minutes was an even contest until the Broncos scored via Darius Boyd. A backline shift from a scrum moments later got Isaako over the line to give the Broncos a 12-2 lead. A determined run from Young Tonumaipea on the goal-line saw him beat 4 defenders to cross for Melbourne’s only try of the first half.
In the second half the Storm hit top gear and ran in 4 tries to the Broncos 1. The halves pair of Jacks and Munster made their mark on the game, laying on a try assist each with Munster scoring one of his own. The end scoreline marked the 4th consecutive match the Storm have scored 30+ points against the Broncos.
Sunday Afternoon Refereeing
After a fantastic free-flowing game of Origin, all anyone can talk about in Round 14 is how bad the officiating has been in comparison. For this game, Gus Gould’s comments about the football threatening to interrupt the refereeing rang true.
The whistle-happy refs made for a frustrating game of football to watch. Inconsistent calls littered the match with the Storm not penalized for a voluntary tackle and the Broncos being called out on a 2nd effort in a tackle where the Storm weren’t earlier. When captain Boyd approached the referee to question it, his team was unfairly marched 10m for the simple act.
Add to that an embarrassing end to the match when two penalties were blown after the siren had sounded which led to Josh McGuire just booting the ball out to end the misery for everyone.
Ref bashing is just a part of the game but never before has it threatened to kill the entertainment value of League like it has this year.
Storm continue dominant record over Broncos
For a team that has remained a Top 8 mainstay for years and performed at a high level for so long, the Broncos have been nothing but whipping boys to the Storm.
In the last 13 years the Broncos have only won 6 games against the Storm. Perhaps Craig Bellamy is so sought after because the Broncos want to know the secret to beating them.
Refreshed Smith makes big impact
Without the stress of rep duties for the first time in over a decade, Cameron Smith came into the game completely fresh and played a starring role in leading his team to victory.
His kicking game was absolutely pinpoint, gaining repeat sets and trapping the Broncos in their own half. His work around the ruck was good as always, picking the perfect times to run and pick out the right man in attack.
A perfect afternoon out with the boot, nailing 6/6 helped bring up a personal career points tally of over 200 against the Broncos.
Broncos continue inconsistent season
Their poor record against the Storm aside, the Broncos have been a topsy-turvy team throughout the year. They began the match well with back to back tries before it all fell apart. At times they looked like contenders while other times they seemed like pretenders.
It’s a trend reflected in their season. They’ve managed 3 wins over Top 8 teams including the 3rd placed Rabbitohs while also losing to 3 bottom 8 teams, copping a thrashing by the 13th placed Manly a few weeks ago.
It’s difficult to gauge where exactly the Broncos are at at this stage of the season. In their favour though they have only missed the finals once in Wayne Bennett’s 20+ year tenure. That’s a stat players and fans alike can take some confidence from.
Tries: Young Tonumaipea (26m), Felise Kaufusi (45m), Cameron Munster (57m), Suliasi Vunivalu (69m), Jahrome Hughes (75m)
Goals: Cameron Smith 6/6
Tries: Darius Boyd (17m), Jamayne Isaako (20m), Jordan Kahu (63m)
Goals: Jamayne Isaako 2/4