Billy Slater scored a first-half double as Melbourne Storm beat Brisbane Broncos 34-20 in an entertaining affair.
Brisbane started well when Jamayne Isaako took a high ball and offloaded to James Roberts who strolled in with his pace.
Billy Slater got his team on the front foot when he kicked the ball after dropping it. He chased through and grounded it and the bunker confirmed the try.
Slater got his second when he supported a deep Josh Addo-Carr break. The winger kicked expertly on his inside for his fullback.
The Storm were electric. Off the back of a Suliasi Vunivalu break, Vunivalu found himself in centre field on the next play. He launched a huge, and brilliant, cut-out pass to his opposite winger Addo-Carr who finished in the corner.
It took 13 minutes for the first points of the second half. Substitute Kodi Nikorima found Isaako out wide who handed off Storm defenders to plant the ball down in the right corner. Isaako’s second missed conversion kept Brisbane ten behind their opponents.
The Broncos were within four when Tevita Pangai Jnr found Alex Glenn with a great short pass. The second rower steamed round under the posts. The momentum had swung towards the Broncos.
But the Storm came right back at them. In a sweeping move right to left, Cameron Smith found Munster who grubbered perfectly in behind Isaako for Addo-Carr.
Brisbane weren’t prepared to lie down. After a quiet game, Anthony Milford came alive when he kicked in behind for himself. He regathered and dived under the posts.
But Milford went from hero to villain. Will Chambers kicked into the in-goal and Milford, trying to shepherd the ball dead, didn’t see Vunivalu who accepted the gift.
Chambers killed the game, off the back of a scrum win, when he overpowered Corey Oates.
Broncos: Boyd, Oates, Roberts, Opacic, Isaako, Bird, Milford, Lodge, McCullough, Thaiday, Glenn, Sims, McGuire; Interchanges: Pangai Jnr, Ofahengaue, Nikorima, Su’A
Tries: Roberts, Isaako, Glenn, Milford; Goals: Isaako 2
On report: Lodge – spear tackle
Storm: Slater, Vunivalu, Chambers, Scott, Addo-Carr, Munster, Jacks, J Bromwich, C Smith, Asofa-Solomona, Kaufusi, Hoffman, Glasby; Interchanges: B Smith, K Bromwich, Welch, Kasiano
Tries: Slater 2, Addo-Carr 2, Vunivalu, Chambers; Goals: C Smith 5
Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express.