Brendan Wood reviews the Melbourne Storm’s dominant 50-22 win over the Wests Tigers on Saturday night. Here’s how the game went.
|5th||Try – Suliasi Vunivalu (Storm)||Storm 6-0|
|10th||Try – Josh Addo-Carr (Storm)||Storm 12-0|
|17th||Try – Asu Kepaoa (Tigers)||Storm 12-4|
|20th||Try – Nicholas Hynes (Storm)||Storm 16-4|
|24th||Try – Josh Aloiai (Tigers)||Storm 16-10|
|27th||Try – Suliasi Vunivalu (Storm)||Storm 22-10|
|33rd||Try – Jerome Hughes (Storm)||Storm 28-10|
|39th||Try – Josh Addo-Carr (Storm)||Storm 32-10|
|52nd||Try – Asu Kepaoa (Tigers)||Storm 32-16|
|57th||Try – Adam Doueihi (Tigers)||Storm 32-22|
|59th||Try – Justin Olam (Storm)||Storm 38-22|
|72nd||Try – Cameron Smith (Storm)||Storm 44-22|
|77th||Try – Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (Storm)||Storm 50-22|
The Storm started fast in the fifth minute when Jerome Hughes chipped a kick in behind the Tigers defence. Suliasi Vunivalu won the race to the ball and scored the opening try.
It wasn’t long before they crossed for their second. Josh Addo-Carr finished off a backline spread in the corner to extend the lead to 12-0.
The Tigers held off the Storm and got some six again calls to help them out of trouble. After several sets in attack, their first points came when Benji Marshall threw a cut-out pass for Asu Kepaoa to score in the corner.
In the following set, Marshall undid his work when he threw an errant offload that was recovered by the Storm.
With good field position the Storm struck again, this time through Nicho Hynes as he brushed through some loose tackles to extend the lead.
Following this, Cameron Smith made a rare mistake when he kicked the ball out on the full. Off the back of the error, the Tigers found the try line again through a strong carry by Josh Aloiai.
However, the back and forth momentum swings continued when the Storm responded with another try. Jerome Hughes put a cross-field bomb up for Suliasi Vunivalu to fly above the pack and score.
Just six minutes later, Hughes had a try of his own when he ran through some tired Tigers defence.
To heap more misery on the Tigers, Luke Garner was sin binned for a professional foul just before halftime when he took out Nicho Hynes as he was chasing through a kick.
The Storm made the most of the advantage as Josh Addo-Carr scored again, this time from inside his own half, sending the Storm into the break with a commanding 32-10 lead.
Despite having a man advantage to start the second half, the Storm couldn’t cross the stripe with the Tigers just managing to hold them out until Garner returned.
Instead it was the Tigers who eventually opened the scoring after halftime. Benji Marshall throwing another cut-out pass for Asu Kepaoa to score his second try.
The Tigers were helped by a penalty which found them in good field position again. They made the most of their chance when Adam Doueihi found a hole in the Storm defence to cut the lead back to just 10 points.
However, just minutes later the Storm snuffed out the Tigers’ hopes of a miraculous comeback. Felise Kaufusi broke through the line and passed to a wide open Justin Olam who crossed for his first try.
After the Tigers interfered with a play the ball, Cameron Smith kicked the loose ball into the in-goal and grounded it to grab a rare try of his own.
The Storm captain put the icing on the cake just minutes later when he setup a try for Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, bringing up the half century for the night and securing a dominant 50-22 win.
The Storm scored 50 points on the night, but the highlight was the final 10 minutes from Cameron Smith. With the Tigers attempting to mount a comeback in the second half, Smith made the most of a ruck infringement by the Tigers and grabbed a rare opportunistic try for himself, snuffing out any remaining hope the Tigers had.
Smith celebrated the try by pointing and spraying water at the coaches box in a gesture to coach Craig Bellamy, who he had just passed in tries scored for his career with 47. The Storm coach flipped him ‘the bird’ in response with a wry smile in a moment of comedy between the two.
Storm: 1. Nicholas Hynes 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Brenko Lee 4. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 15. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Nelson Asofa-Solomona Bench: 16. Tom Eisenhuth 17. Tui Kamikamica 18. Brandon Smith 20. Max King.
Tigers: 1. Adam Doueihi 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Joseph Leilua 4. Chris Lawrence 5. Asu Kepaoa 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Benji Marshall 8. Josh Aloiai 9. Harry Grant 10. Thomas Mikaele 11. Sam McIntyre 12. Luciano Leilua 15. Matt Eisenhuth Bench: 14. Zane Musgrove 16. Russell Packer 17. Luke Garner 21. Jacob Liddle.