THE Melbourne Storm have humiliated the Sydney Roosters with a 44-4 thrashing in front of a 11,879 crowd at Aami Park this afternoon.
The homeside produced a flawless second half performance to bust up the Sydney Roosters' defence and claim top spot on the NRL premiership ladder.
The Storm were able on the attack early after receiving a penalty in their first set.
The homeside took full advantage of the opportunity with halfback Cooper Cronk setting Dane Nielsen up for a four pointer. Cameron Smith added the extras to give the Storm a 6-point-lead after three minutes.
Despite conceding an early try and conceding twice as many penalties as the Storm, the Roosters did not make scoring easy for the home side in the first half and it was not until the 27th minute that the Storm scored again after Smith put Kevin Proctor through a gap.
There was no stopping Billy Slater in the 34th minute when he found a gap 30 meters out from the Roosters' line, the super star fullback put on a step and raced away to score.
Sam Perrett looked certain to have scored for the Roosters only five minutes later, however after several minutes of inspecting the replays, video referee Rod Lawrence ruled that Perrett never grounded the ball cleanly.
It took the Melbourne Storm only 40 seconds to score the opening points of the second half. Ryan Hoffman busted through the Roosters' defence before finding a racing Billy Slater who offloaded to Todd Lowrie who was eventually brought down only a few meters from the Roosters' line. Hoffman was their to back up and score of the next play.
Slater crossed for his double only five minutes later to become the first player in NRL history to score two tries in four consecutive matches.
There was no stopping the Storm from there as they found holes in the Roosters' defence all over the park, while the Roosters struggled to hold onto the ball and the Storm continued to add points to their total.
The visitors finally got on the board in the 73rd minute when Boyd Cordner muscled his way over to score a late consolation try.
Melbourne Storm 44 defeated Sydney Roosters 4
National Rugby League - Round 4 - Sunday March 25, 2012 2:00pm
Venue: AAMI Park
Referee: Tony Archer and Gavin Badger
Video Referee: Rod Lawrence
Touch Judges: Russell Turner and Gavin West
Halftime: Melbourne Storm 16 Sydney Roosters 0
MELBOURNE STORM (44)
Tries: Cooper Cronk (2), Ryan Hoffman, Billy Slater (2), Will Chambers, Kevin Proctor, Dane Nielsen
Conversions: Cameron Smith (5/7), Gareth Widdop (1/1)
SYDNEY ROOSTERS (4)
Tries: Boyd Cordner
Conversions: Braith Anasta (0/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Join the conversation - follow LeagueUnlimited on Twitter and tweet about the match using the Official Hashtag = #NRLmelsyd.
You can also discuss the match with thousands of other fans in our Game Day Forums - click here. Good afternoon folks and welcome to Aami Park where the Melbourne Storm take on the Sydney Roosters. We have chilli overcast conditions in Melbourne at the moment.
The Melbourne Storm have just taken out the Toyota cup match with a 32-30 victory.
Both coaches have announced a couple of late changes to their side. For the home team, Will Chambers and Sisa Waqa join the side, with Anothony Quin and Justin O'Neil sitting out the match.
For the Roosters Justin Carney and Mose Masoe are out. Joeseph Leilua moves to the wing, with Tom Symonds coming into the side at centre and Brad Takairangi taking Masoe's spot on the bench.
1 min: Cameron Smith kicks off to bring the match underway.
2 min: The Storm will get a piggyback up the field after the Roosters concede a penalty.
4 min: TRY
TRY! Cooper Cronk makes a break from 9 meters out and offloads to Dane Nielsen who scores. Cameron Smith's conversion attempt is successful.
Melbourne Storm 6-0
7 min: Nice passage of play by the Roosters, Jake Friend makes a break down the left side and the Roosters are within ten of the tryline with a tackle in hand, but a poorly weighted kick sees the chance go begging.
9 min: The Storm receive a penalty on their 40 and will get another relieving penalty.
10 min: Will Chambers loses the ball only a few meters out from the Roosters' line.
11 min: The Roosters receive a penalty and should go on the attack here.
12 min: Matthew Duffie is left with no choice to but to run Pearce's kick dead and the Roosters will get another crack at the line.
13 min: Mitchell Aubusson loses the ball only a few meters out from the line.
16 min: Some quick hands from the Roosters sees them threatening the Melbourne line late in the tackle count.
16 min: The Roosters receive a penalty only a few meters out from the Melbourne line.
17 min: Pearce puts up a cross-field kick on the last and the Storm have no problem diffusing the situation.
22 min: The Storm receive a relieving penalty.
23 min: A hospital pass from Smith to Billy Slater is spilled by the fullback and the Chooks are off the hook.
24 min: Mitchell Pearce loses the ball ten meters out from the Melbourne after the Roosters spread it out wide through Anasta and Symonds.
25 min: The Storm will get another piggyback up the field after the Roosters pinned for an indiscretion in the play the ball.
26 min: Anasta is penalised for being offside and the set will restart for the Storm.
26 min: Possible try to Kevin Proctor for the Storm here.
28 min: TRY
TRY! Cameron Smith puts Proctor through a gap and Proctor scores. Smiths conversion attempt is unsuccessful.
Melbourne Storm 10-0
30 min: Pearce attempts a 40/20 but Slater is able to bat the ball in field, however the ball goes over the dead ball line and the Roosters will get a line dropout.
32 min: Sam Perrett is caught with the ball on the last and the Storm have the ball back.
33 min: Shaun Kenny-Dowall loses the ball 10 meters into the Storm half.
35 min: TRY
TRY! Billy Slater finds a gap 30 meters out from the Roosters' line, he puts on a step to beat the defense and scores for the Storm. Smith adds the extras.
Melbourne Storm 16-0
37 min: Mitchell Aubusson charges down a Smith kick 30 out from the Roosters' line and loses the ball trying to regather it.
38 min: Garreth Widdop loses the ball 10 meters out from the Roosters' line.
38 min: Garreth Widdop loses the ball 10 meters out from the Roosters' line.
39 min: Possible try to the Roosters here!
39 min: NO TRY! Sam Perrett is ruled to have lost control of the ball over the line. The Roosters were able to keep the ball alive on the last to put Perrett in.
40 min: Melbourne receive a penalty ten short on halfway.
40 min: The half time hooter sounds and that's the half.
41 min: Anasta kicks off to bring the second half underway.
42 min: TRY
TRY! Ryan Hoffman busts through the Roosters' line on the first hit up and finds a racing Billy Slater who makes it to halfway before offloading to Todd Lowrie who is chased down within meters of the line. Hoffman receives the ball from dummy half to score. Smith's conversion is successful.
Melbourne Storm 22-0
47 min: TRY
TRY! Melbourne's triad combine to set up a wonderful try for Slater. Smith started the play and offloaded to Cooper Cronk, who passes back to Slater, who passes back to Smith who passed back to Cronk who passed . Smith adds the extras.
Melbourne Storm 28-0
48 min: Smith loses the ball 10 out from the Roosters' line on the last tackle.
50 min: The Storm are pinned for a forward pass 40 out from their own line.
51 min: Pearce knocks on for the Roosters and the Storm are off the hook.
53 min: Possible try to the Storm here.
54 min: TRY
TRY! Billy Slater sends Dane Nielsen through a gap straight off the back of the scrum, Nielsen passes back to Slater who grubbers into the in-goal 30 out from the Chooks' line, Cronk is there to ground the ball and score. Smith adds the extras.
Melbourne Storm 34-0
56 min: Nielsen loses the ball a few meters from the Roosters' line after Cameron Smith sent Todd Lowrie through a gap.
63 min: The Storm will receive six tackles on halfway after the Roosters were pinned for playing at the ball.
65 min: TRY
TRY! Will Chambers slices through some soft Roosters' defence to score. Smith misses the conversion.
Melbourne Storm 38-0
67 min: The Roosters find some space on halfway but Aubusson's pass finds the sideline. The Chooks still had a few tackles in hand too.
69 min: The Storm will get a line drop out.
70 min: The Roosters survive.
71 min: The Roosters receive a penalty 30 out from their own line.
72 min: Possible try to the Roosters!
74 min: TRY
TRY! Boyd Cordner scores the first try of his career. The Roosters spread it out to the left before Anasta sends it back to right to Pearce who finds a charging Cordner. Cordner takes four defenders with him over the line. Anasta misses the conversion.
Melbourne Storm 38-4
75 min: Pearce loses the ball 30 out from his own line.
76 min: The Storm will receive a line dropout after Minichiello is forced to take a Slater kick dead.
77 min: Cooper Cronk may have scored here!
78 min: TRY
TRY! Garreth Widdop grubbers into the in goal and Cronk is there to ground the ball. Widdop's conversion attempt is successful.
Melbourne Storm 44-4
79 min: The Roosters will start a set on halfway after Jason Ryles loses the ball.
80 min: Kenny-Dowall loses the ball 15 meters out and that's the ball game.