Andrew Pelechaty reviews Melbourne’s comfortable win at Lottoland.
After a slow start against the Gold Coast last week, Melbourne wasted no time asserting their dominance at Brookvale Oval. They led 18-0 after half-an-hour, with tries to Josh Addo-Carr, Justin Olam (the first of three for the night) and Nelson Asofa-Solomona. It was the same margin they led Canberra by a fortnight ago, and while Manly got one back through Taniela Paseka, there was no repeat of the AAMI Park collapse.
Leading 18-6 at halftime, Melbourne sealed the game with Olam’s second try and one to Ryan Papenhuyzen. Will Chambers’ sin bin added some brief spice in a one-sided contest before Olam completed his hat-trick on full time. Manly’s awful night was compounded by a pectoral injury to Tom Trbojevic, which could hurt Manly’s finals hopes.
Melbourne Officially Win Minor Premiership
Entering the penultimate round with a two-game lead over the Sydney Roosters, Melbourne officially won their fourth minor premiership since 2011. Melbourne are guaranteed two finals at AAMI Park, and will be hot favourite to make back-to-back grand finals, a relief after a rough few weeks.
Have Manly Missed the Double Chance?
In a tight top four race, Manly needed to win tonight after Souths’ big win over the Warriors. Their loss leaves them fifth, behind Canberra on for-and-against, though the Raiders can move two points clear if they beat Cronulla-Sutherland on Sunday. For Manly, a tough trip to Bankwest against Parramatta will decide if they squeeze into the top four or finish fifth/sixth (depending on for-and-against).
Tommy Turbo’s Injury
Manly were dealt a huge blow in the first half, when Tom Trbojevic went off with a pectoral injury after trying to stop Josh Addo-Carr scoring Melbourne’s first try. Tommy Turbo’s injury could have major repurcussions for Manly’s finals campaign. Watch this space.
Melbourne centre Justin Olam’s hat-trick nearly doubled his season tally, with 7 tries from 10 games. It’s an impressive strike-rate for the PNG international, and a reward for his hard work with the Sunshine Coast Falcons and Melbourne.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 6
Tries: Taniela Paseka
Goals: Reuben Garrick 1/1
Drop Goals: n/a
Melbourne Storm 36
Tries: Justin Olam (3), Josh Addo-Carr, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Ryan Papenhuyzen
Goals: Cameron Smith 6/7
Drop Goals: n/a
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jorge Taufua 20. Brad Parker 4. Moses Suli 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Dylan Walker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Martin Taupau 11. Jack Gosiewski 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: 14. Manase Fainu 15. Corey Waddell 16. Morgan Boyle 17. Taniela Paseka.
Melbourne Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Will Chambers 4. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Dale Finucane. Interchange: 14. Brandon Smith 15. Tino Faasuamaleaui 16. Max King 17. Tom Eisenhuth.