Melbourne Storm got over the disappointment of their defeat to Wests Tigers last week to comfortably despatch North Queensland Cowboys 30-14.
After both sides traded penalty goals early, Melbourne scored the first try through Joe Stimson who hit and spin off the back of a combination between Cameron Smith and Billy Slater.
Just as Melbourne were threatening to pull away as they broke the Cowboys up the middle effortlessly, Johnathan Thurston found Coen Hess with a short ball. The Cowboys forward burst through the Storm defence and rounded under the posts.
After Melbourne forced a lighting quick play-the-ball through Ryan Hoffman, Cameron Smith found Christian Welsh who crashed his way over to score his first ever NRL try. Smith’s three penalty goals during the half gave the Storm an 18-8 lead at the break.
Coen Hess notched a double when he barged his way over to get North Queensland back in the game at 18-14.
Cameron Smith’s penalty with 13 minutes to go gave Melbourne a six-point lead heading into the final stages. Will Chambers then jumped from dummy half, after Billy Slater played the ball quickly, to score and seal the win.
Nelson Asofa-Solomona’s try after combining with Cameron Smith put further gloss on the result.
Storm: Slater, Vunivalu, Chambers, Scott, Addo-Carr, Munster, Croft, Bromwich, C Smith, Asofa-Solomona, Stimson, Hoffman, Finucane; Interchanges: Glasby, Welch, Kasiano, B Smith
Tries: Stimson, Welch, Chambers, Asofa-Solomona; Goals: C Smith 6, Croft
Cowboys: Hampton, Feldt, O’Neill, Bowen, Winterstein, Morgan, Thurston, Scott, Granville, McLean, Cooper, Hess, Taumalolo; Interchanges: Martin, Asiata, Bolton, Lowe
Tries: Hess 2; Goals: Thurston 3
Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express