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3 hours ago | Tim Costello
Melbourne have thrashed Brisbane 40-4 thanks to a Cameron Smith masterclass, leaving the Storm another step closer to securing the JJ Giltinan Shield yet again as Minor Premiers in a dominant display at Suncorp Stadium tonight.
Skipper Smith was sensational, scoring a try and having a hand in several more in a dominant display from the former Australian skipper in his 403rd NRL game. Kiwi backrower, Kenny Bromwich crossed for a double in another impressive display from the destructive edge backrower, who has now emerged out of the shadow of his older brother Jesse, as one of the key players for the men in purple.
The display from the Storm was typically clinical, calculated and executed to almost perfection, in a big statement to the rest of the competition that there is currently no better side than Melbourne.
Melbourne got the first points on the board, when Storm skipper Cameron Smith engaged Broncos fullback Anthony Milford into making a tackle when he was offside at marker and the Storm skipper took the points on offer to give his side a 2-0 lead.
The Storm then built on their lead, when Cameron Munster was up ended in a terrific tackle from Broncos half Jake Turpin. Off the next play the ball however, Kenny Bromwich switched to the short side and found his centre in Justin Olam, who managed to put NSW winger Josh Addo-Carr over for the first try of the night. Smith missed the conversion and Melbourne were off to a fast start to lead 6-0.
Melbourne continued to pile on the pressure with Munster and Smith in particular turning the screws with their tactical kicking ploys on the last tackle. Brisbane finally cracked however, when Smith laid on a neat inside ball from dummy half close to the line for his prop Christian Welch to charge over under the posts and following the Smith conversion, extend the lead to 12-0.
Minutes later, the Storm found themselves again inside Broncos territory, when Munster collected some quick ball out of dummy half on the left-hand side, the Australian representative then put his backrower Kenny Bromwich over to score the Storm's third try. Smith converted from the sideline and Melbourne led 18-0 at halftime.
Melbourne continued their dominance in the second stanza, when fullback Jahrome Hughes got on the outside of Broncos skipper Darius Boyd to extend the lead to 24-0. Following that play, the Storm again strolled upfield, which saw super sub Ryan Papenhuyzen slice through and tackled metres out from the line. Broncos interchange hooker James Segeyaro was then penalised for holding on too long in the tackle and Smith extended the visitor's lead to 26-0.
Melbourne then flexed their muscle with quick tries to Kenny Bromwich who bagged his second try for the night, which was followed by a superb try to Storm skipper Smith, and the Broncos home crowd was left stunned, with the second try in four minutes giving the visitors a commanding 36-point lead.
The dominance of the Storm then continued, when Munster found some space again on the left-hand side and put Papenhuyzen over to hit the 40-point mark.
Broncos centre Kotoni Staggs crossed late in the game to save his side complete embarrassment, but the fact of the matter was that the Broncos had been hosed in front of their home fans at Suncorp Stadium, leaving their final series hopes in tatters.
Melbourne now extend their lead at the top of the NRL ladder, and now turn their attention to their clash with the South Sydney Rabbitohs in an absolute blockbuster at Central Coast Stadium next Sunday.
Brisbane now have to lift themselves off the canvass, as they face their bitter rivals in the Cowboys in Townsville next Thursday night.
Brisbane Broncos 4 - Melbourne Storm 40
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Halftime Score: Brisbane Broncos 0 Melbourne Storm 18
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Cameron Smith
2 points - Kenneath Bromwich
1 points - Cameron Munster
BRISBANE BRONCOS (4)
Tries: Kotoni Staggs
Conversions: Jamayne Isaako (0/1)
MELBOURNE STORM (40)
Tries: Cameron Smith, Josh Addo-Carr, Christian Welch, Kenneath Bromwich (2), Jahrome Hughes, Ryan Papenhuyzen
Conversions: Cameron Smith (4/7)
Penalty Goals: Cameron Smith (2/2)