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2021 NRL Round 15, Storm 66 Tigers 16 – Report

Brendan Wood reviews the Melbourne Storm’s 66-16 demolition of the Wests Tigers. Here’s how the game went.

SCOREBOARD

Storm 66

Tries: Brandon Smith (3), Nicho Hynes (5), Cameron Munster (10), Dale Finucane (13), Nelson Asofa-Solomona (16), Reimis Smith (28, 45), Felise Kaufusi (39), Jahrome Hughes (43, 71), Tom Eisenhuth (48), Harry Grant (50)

Goals: Nicho Hynes (4, 6, 11, 15, 18, 29, 44, 52, 72)

Tigers 16

Tries: Tommy Talau (56), Luke Garner (66) David Nofoaluma (76)

Goals: Luke Brooks (58, 68)

Player of the Year Points

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3 pts – Jahrome Hughes (Melbourne Storm)
2 pts – Harry Grant (Melbourne Storm)
1 pt – Dale Finucane (Melbourne Storm)

MATCH REPORT

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1st Half

The Storm wasted no time as they made an easy 90 metres in the first set of the game. They got lucky when they received a set restart attacking the Tigers line. As a result, Brandon Smith scampered out of dummy half and grabbed the first try of the game.

Just two minutes later, the Storm opened the Tigers again. Making easy metres, Justin Olam kept the ball alive for Nicho Hynes who got Josh Addo-Carr into space. The Storm winger drew the fullback and passed back to Hynes who scored. The Tigers had still not touched the ball despite trailing 12-0.

Still inside the opening 10 minutes, the Tigers had no answers for the Storm attack. The home side continued to make breaks with ease as they surged inside Tigers’ territory again.

To compound the damage, Daine Laurie made an error when he stepped on the sideline while trying to keep the ball in play. The Storm had their third try soon after when Cameron Munster split the defence from close range.

The Tigers continued to be starved of possession, but it was largely their own fault. When they did get the ball, they made simple errors to hand the ball straight back. Meanwhile, the Storm juggernaut kept rolling. This time it was Dale Finucane getting in on the action, as he crashed over to score a rare try.

Not long after this, the Storm worked themselves into position again. Nelson Asofa-Solomona went himself from dummy-half and crashed over with relative ease, extending the lead to 30-0 inside the opening 20 minutes.

The remainder of the first half saw the Storm scoring assault slow, but not stop. The home side managed a further two tries to Reimis Smith and Felise Kaufusi before the break.

Finally, the halftime siren brought an end to the Tigers’ embarrassment, as the Storm strolled into the break leading by a whopping 40 points.

HALF-TIME: Melbourne Storm 40 Wests Tigers 0

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2nd Half

Unfortunately for the Tigers, the Storm were far from finished. Jahrome Hughes took a quick tap and caught the Tigers napping. He made it all the way to the line to score and get the Storm rolling just three minutes into the second half.

In the next set, it was more magic from the Storm. They spread the ball to George Jennings who made a break and kicked back in-field for Reimis Smith to score, bringing up 50 points in record time.

Just minutes later, another try for the Storm. This time Tom Eisenhuth strolled through some weak defence to get his name on the score sheet. After 48 minutes, the Storm had scored 54 points.

Once again, it only took minutes for the Storm to run in another try. This time, Harry Grant regathered his own kick and got the ball down, becoming the 10th Storm player to score a try on the night.

In the 54th minute the Storm made a rare mistake when they failed to find touch off a penalty. With a rare attacking opportunity, the Tigers finally got their first points when Tommy Talau found his way to the line.

With points on the board, the Tigers got a leg-up when Nelson Asofa-Solomona was sin-binned for a high shot. With the man advantage, Moses Mbye went to the line and gave a short ball to Luke Garner, who poured through a gap and scored the Tigers second try

In response, Jahrome Hughes returned the Storm to their scoring ways as he brushed off several tackles to get over for his second try and the Storm’s 12th of the night.

The Tigers managed to jag a late try through David Nofoaluma, but the game was well and truly over by that point. The Storm running out convincing 50 point winners over a demoralised Tigers side.

FULL-TIME: Melbourne Storm 66 Wests Tigers 16

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Injuries

Shawn Blore (Tigers) – ankle
Brandon Smith (Storm) – calf
Remeis Smith (Storm) – ankle
Tom Eisenhuth (Storm) – elbow

Match Review Committee

Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Storm) – Grade 1 Dangerous Contact Head/Neck – Early Guilty Plea 2 match ban, Guilty at Judiciary 2 match ban.

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