Elinya Chenery reviews the Friday evening clash between Melbourne and the Gold Coast …
Melbourne Storm 32
Tries: Cameron Munster 3 (15, 32, 63), Xavier Coates (10), Kenny Bromwich (22), Young Tonumaipea (79)
Goals: Cameron Munster 4 (17, 24, 34, 64)
Gold Coast Titans 14
Tries: Beau Fermor (26), Herman Ese’ese (29), Brain Kelly (43)
Goals: Tanah Boyd (30)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
With the score standing at 16-0 Melbourne’s way within the first 22 minutes of play, you could be forgiven for thinking this match was about to be a blow out. With an early try to Xavier Coates, and Cameron Munster sliding over for his first of the evening at just the 15-minute mark, the fourth-placed Storm looked to be well on their way towards putting a cricket score on the 16th-placed Titans, who were desperately trying to avoid their 10th straight loss.
In a historic milestone, Kenny and Jesse Bromwich became the first pair of brothers to play 500 NRL games for one club, and the former celebrated with the use of sheer power to push himself over the line for a try in the early stages of the match.
Despite their early dismantling, the Titans got one back through some solid footwork from Beau Fermor. The Gold Coast outfit then went back-to-back only minutes later, after a Bunker review confirmed that the movement from Herman Ese’ese during his crash play over the line was legal, and the game was well and truly back on.
It was raining tries in the opening 40, with Cameron Munster bagging his second of the evening through a brilliantly deceptive fake pass to his wing, in order to give his side a 12-point lead going into half-time.
It seemed the tries would continue to flow through the second half when Brian Kelly bounced on a perfectly weighted AJ Brimson kick only three minutes after the resumption of play. With the match an eight-point ball game going into the final quarter, it appeared we were in for a grandstand finish.
Despite their best efforts, the inexperience of the Titans side showed, with the ever-clinical Melbourne outfit capitalising on tired Gold Coast defenders. Cameron Munster produced some individual magic to cross for his second career hat-trick (both of which have been against the Titans), and it seemed as though this was the try that broke the visitors.
Despite being on the receiving end of some lucky penalties, the Gold Coast side were unable to convert possession into points and failed to spark a comeback. Melbourne completed their evening with a try to Young Tonumaipea on the stroke of full time, sending the Storm into third place on the ladder for the time being.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Cameron Munster (Storm), 2 pts – AJ Brimson (Titans), 1 pt – Harry Grant (Storm)
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