Four Pointers: Melbourne Storm 42 New Zealand Warriors 0

PROFESSIONAL STORM BOTH ON AND OFF THE FIELD

A wonderful night at AAMI Park with over twenty thousand fans being treated to a professional display by the Melbourne Storm in crushing New Zealand Warriors 42-0.

It all started with an emotional ANZAC Ceremony with the faces of Storm players lit up inside the roof of the stadium brilliantly captured on the club’s twitter feed.

Last week’s golden point win over Wests Tigers was soon forgotten as the Storm went on a five try first half scoring spree to set up a big win.  The reality is that Melbourne could have scored another three with two of them denied by the NRL Bunker for obstruction.

Cam Smith and Cooper Cronk set up the win.  The other ‘Cam’, Munster injecting himself into the game just like Billy Slater would.  Reality is that we may never see Slater again in a Storm jumper with injury potentially ending his career.

Craig Bellamy would be stoked with the professionalism displayed by his troops and will be demanding more when his side travels to the Gold Coast for a Sunday afternoon match with the Titans.

CAPPY MCFADDEN’S FUTURE AGAIN IN QUESTION

The race is well and truly on between Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor and New Zealand Warriors coach Andrew McFadden to be the first sacked in 2016.

Their causes not helped on the weekend thanks to big losses against Canberra (6-60) and Melbourne (0-42) respectively.

It’s obvious that in both situations that players aren’t responding to what the coach wants out of them.  Robbie Farah the main target of Tigers fans taking to social media.

Could it be Shaun Johnson failing McFadden at the Warriors?  You would expect with the class Johnson has that he could influence his side even when being on the back foot during the first half.  The second half was no better for the halfback who looked disinterested in the game.

McFadden’s fatal blow may not come this Sunday when his side takes on the Dragons at Mount Smart Stadium, but possibly the next when they take on the Panthers in Christchurch.

WARRIORS ‘D’-FENCE

New Zealand Warriors defence scorecard read a D- after conceding eight tries, five coming before the half time break.

Early in the game it was the Warriors right hand defence tested time after time.  This was combined with their on line defence showing a lack of desperation in holding out the Storm.  Tries to Tohu Harris, Tim Glasby and Kenny Bromwich were simple, uncontested efforts on the Warriors goal line.

The story was no better on the left hand side defence with veteran Manu Vatuvei upstaged by two game rookie Suliasi Vunivalu.  Vunivalu denied two first half tries was gifted two tries late in the game to add to his double on debut against the Tigers.

New Zealand Warriors now have the second worse defence this season having conceded 222 points.

The attitude of the Warriors players must improve otherwise they will be out of contention for the finals series very early.

CAM SMITH IN TROUBLE FOR TOUCHING REF

After the scrutiny of Sam McKendry’s suspension for touching the ref last week against the likes of David Klemmer and Johnathan Thurston, now the blowtorch is on Cameron Smith.

Smith touched pocket referee Matt Cecchin in the 64th minute of last night’s game.

Billy Slater slamming Fox Sports News for making light of the situation.

It’s unlikely Smith will be charged by the Match Review Committee.

FROM THE SHEDS

The Storm had two injury problems, both knee injuries.  Young Tonumaipea struggled during the first half and left the field with thirteen minutes to go.  Marika Koroibete fell awkwardly in being tackled by Jacob Lillyman just after half-time but continued on in the game.

Simon Mannering suffered a deep facial cut during the second half and was forced from the field.  Early reports suggested Mannering would require some surgery.  This could put him in doubt for their home match with St George-Illawarra Dragons on Sunday.

SCOREBOARD

Melbourne Storm 42
Tries: 
Suliasi Vunivalu 2, Tohu Harris, Jesse Bromwich, Marika Koroibete, Cameron Munster, Cooper Cronk
Goals: Cameron Smith 5

New Zealand Warriors 0 

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