Melbourne Storm 46
Sisa Waqa (2), Billy Slater (2), Kurt Mann (2), Bryan Norrie, Jordan McLean.
Ben Roberts 1/1, Smith 6/7.
Parramatta Eeels 20
Ryan Morgan (2), Semi Radradra, Vai Toutai.
Melbourne Storm sent out a warning to the rest of the league with their biggest win of the season, producing an ominous display in their impressive destruction of in-form Parramatta.
Billy Slater recovered from Origin disappointment to produce a classy display, setting up two tries while scoring two of his own to lift himself up to joint third in the all time NRL scoring charts.
Jesse Bromwhich was also influential in the Storm’s win, making 175 metres in another dominant performance which helped take Melbourne up to seventh place in the league ladder.
The opening moments were dominated by Storm with Billy Slater putting Sisa Waqa over for the first try of the match before doubling their advantage soon after through Slater who followed a Ben Hampton line break to score his first and he soon had a second after he took advantage of a knock-down from Mahe Fonua following a cross-field kick on 23 minutes.
The home side’s 18 point buffer was reduced to eight by half time, as the visitors scored twice inside the final five minutes of the first half, including arguably the pick of the game’s tries which came through Semi Radradra who finished well in the corner after an outstanding 30 metre pass from Eels’ half back, Corey Norman.
Despite this setback, Storm were soon on top once again with Billy Slater at the centre of an impressive move which saw Waqa cross for his second of the game.
But, Parramatta showed their mettle, battling back to score again and the Eels were suddenly within reach of Melbourne.
However, their momentum was halted on the hour mark when star half back Chris Sandow was sin binned for dissent after the 25-year-old asked referee Ben Cummins, “How much are they paying you?” after a dubious penalty against his side.
Melbourne took full advantage of their man advantage, pressing on almost immediately as Kurt Mann crossed twice in the final quarter.
Bryan Norrie and Jordan McLean also bagged tries in the closing stages to wrap up a convincing victory for Melbourne, despite a late consolation from Parra, which has all the hallmarks of a win which could see their season finally spring into life.