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Melbourne rode a 24-point second half, as they down a vibrant Brisbane Broncos side, 32-16 in front of 17,009 fans at AAMI Park tonight.
It won't go down as a vintage Storm performance, but they bided their time, kept pushing and piled on four tries in the second half, as the premiers banked another valuable two points against a desperate Broncos side, that showed in patches that they have found the formula.
In a slightly messy, and frantic first-half, the Broncos looked much more like their slick selves. Veteran fullback, Darius Boyd turned back the clock - stepping well for a try and chimed into the backline well for Isaako's try - as the Broncos enjoyed a rare bout of Sunday afternoon football, leading the Storm 12-2.
The Storm took their time to get going, but they started to roll downfield easily. Young Tonumaipea burst through some flimsy Broncos defense, as the Storm headed to the sheds the happier of the two sides, only trailing by four, 12-8.
From the opening kick in the second half, where Cameron Smith trapped Boyd, the Storm controlled the contest. The kicking game from the aforementioned Smith, Cameron Munster and Ryley Jacks kept the Broncos pinned in their own end, and allowed them to pile on some defensive pressure.
Both young halves from the Storm directed the attack in the second half; Jacks provided a sharp short ball for Felise Kaufusi to crash over before Munster stopped, propped and stepped across the line. His four-pointer put the reigning premiers, up eight and in the driver's seat.
Despite a brief revival from the Broncos, as Jordan Kahu sliced through brought it back within a score, the Storm completely set the pace of the second half, as the Broncos continued to stumble and bumble their way to their eighth loss of the season.
Late tries from a AFL-style leap from Suliasi Vunivalu and a great support run from Jahrome Hughes blew the margin out to 16 points, as the Storm continued their dominance over the Broncos and move within two points of the top four.
Next weekend the Storm head to Newcastle while Brisbane are up against the Sharks in the Shire.
Melbourne Storm 32 - Brisbane Broncos 16
Venue: AAMI Park
Halftime Score: Melbourne Storm 8 Brisbane Broncos 12
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Cameron Munster
2 points - Cameron Smith
1 points - Darius Boyd
MELBOURNE STORM (32)
Tries: Young Tonumaipea, Felise Kaufusi, Cameron Munster, Suliasi Vunivalu, Jahrome Hughes
Conversions: Cameron Smith (5/5)
Penalty Goals: Cameron Smith (1/1)
BRISBANE BRONCOS (16)
Tries: Jamayne Isaako, Darius Boyd, Jordan Kahu
Conversions: Jamayne Isaako (1/3)
Penalty Goals: Jamayne Isaako (1/1)