Storm bounce back to form

The Melbourne Storm have bounced back to form in style with a 46-6 thrashing of the Penrith Panthers at AAMI Park in front of 9,223 fans. After five straight loses the Storm hoped to find some form back at home.

In a sign the Storm were on their game came 34 seconds into the match. Cooper Cronk supplied a lovely cut out pass for Sisa Waqa to streak away and score. A wonderful display from the Storm set the foundation for a big performance. Cameron Smith with the conversion made it 6-0.

The Storm kept pace with the clock with 18 points scored in the first 18 minutes. Man of the Match Cooper Cronk added his name on the board with a typical Storm big three play. Cameron Smith and Billy Slater threw the inside-outside short passes to link with Cronk to dive over. Storm 12-0 after 12 minutes.

A power run from Jesse Bromwich saw the Storm extend the lead to 16-0 as the Storm's points continued to flow.

After spending weeks in the NSW Cup, Sisa Waqa was given an opportunity to dawn again the Storm jersey and he repaid his coach with a two tries. Waqa displayed his footwork with a run and a fend through the Panthers line. Smith added the two points, Storm 22-0 with 15 minutes until the break.

Cooper Cronk again in the action with a hand in the final two tries of the first half. Justin O'Neill took the Cronk kick to leap through the air to take it wonderfully to score an amazing try. Cronk minutes later posted his second try with strong run through the defence to score a simple try. At half time the Storm leaders, 34-0 over a woeful Penrith pack.

In the second half it was more of a battle between the two sides with a 12-6 score line in the second forty.  
 
Justin O'Neill found the whitewash again as he flew through a gap to dive on a grubber kick from Gareth Widdop. A simple play again saw the Storm extend their lead to 40-0 after 50 minutes. 
 
Inside the final 10 minutes, Matt Robinson strolled through Storm's defence to post the Panthers first points. Little too late, with the Storm ahead 40-6. 
 
Not to be outdone, the Storm closed the match with a four-pointer on the siren as Sika Manu slipped through a gap to post another simple try. Gareth Widdop provided the short ball for Manu to claim the Storm's 8th try. 
 
At the end of 80 minutes, the Storm found form to down a Panthers' outfit 46-6, who were on the back foot from the kick off.  
 
With the season's end quickly approaching, the Panthers again next week hope to put out a victory to avoid the wooden spoon. Next week they return to Centrebet Stadium to host the Raiders. Meanwhile the Storm open AAMI Park once again to battle with the Gold Coast Titans.
Photo credit: Chris (@Vossy7)

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Match Details
Melbourne Storm 46 defeated Penrith Panthers 6
National Rugby League - Round 22 - Saturday August 4, 2012 3:30pm
Venue: AAMI Park
Referee: Ashley Klein and Adam Devcich
Video Referee: Pat Reynolds
Touch Judges: Jason Walsh and Brenden Wood
Crowd: 9,223
Halftime: Melbourne Storm 34 Penrith Panthers 0

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Cooper Cronk (2 Tries)
2 Points - Ryan Hinchcliffe
1 Point - Bryan Norrie

Melbourne Storm (46)
Tries: Cooper Cronk (2), Sika Manu, Sisa Waqa (2), Justin O'Neill (2), Jesse Bromwich
Conversions: Cameron Smith (7/8)

Penrith Panthers (6)
Tries: Matt Robinson
Conversions: Luke Walsh (1/1)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to League Unlimited's coverage for Super Saturday in Round 22. We have an earlier start with a 3:30PM kick off as the Storm host the Panthers at AAMI Park. The Storm are hoping to bounce back to some form after 5 straight loses, while the Panthers are playing to avoid the wooden spoon.

In team changes, the Storm sees Justin O’Neill return and starts in place of Dane Nielsen. Todd Lowrie comes in to side at lock as Hinchcliffe shifts to the bench. Bryan Norrie is called up into the prop forwards as Jason Ryles will be injected into the game from the bench. Finally, Jaiman Lowe is added to the bench.

Panthers have the one change with David Simmons ruled out which sees Travis Robinson make is NRL debut in the side. Michael Gordon will be wearing jersey 19 despite being named in 1.
The Storm won the coin toss and will kick off to give the Panthers first use of the ball.
FULL TME in Toyota Cup here at AAMI Park sees the Melbourne Storm 20 defeat the Penrith Panthers 14
1 min: We are UNDERWAY here at AAMI Park with the Panthers kicking off down to the Storm in their Close the Gap round jerseys.
2 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Scored by Sisa Waqa. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

The Storm have started off firing with Cooper Cronk finding a gap and throwing a cut out pass to Sisa Waqa on the wing who raced away to score inside the first minute. Smith with the conversion nailed it to make it six.
Melbourne Storm 6-0
3 min: 40/20 Melbourne Storm
Cooper Cronk kicks a 40/20. It's all the Storm so far with the Panthers not getting a set yet.
5 min: The Panthers finally getting a touch on the ball by Travis Robinson is trapped in goal. A line drop out for the Storm.
6 min: Another great take from Travis Robinson but this time managed to stay in the field of play to give the Panthers their first set after six minutes.
7 min: Time off here, Lachlan Coote is getting some attention for an eye injury.
9 min: Anthony Quinn leapt for the high ball but unable to hold the ball and dropped it. The Panthers with a chance on the Storm goal line with the tackle count restarted.
9 min: UNFORCED ERROR Melbourne Storm
Cameron Smith jumped out of the line to knock the ball out of the hands of Luke Walsh. Panthers in good position with a scrum feed on the Storm 10 metre line.
11 min: Billy Slater dives on the loose ball from the Panthers and then gets a penalty. The Storm with their set starting on their 30 metre line. Meanwhile, Lachlan Coote was taken off the field and went up the tunnel
12 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Scored by Cooper Cronk. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

The Storm show off their inside-outside play with Billy Slater and Cameron Smith throwing the short ball for Cooper Cronk to go through the gap. Cronk gets his try after setting up the first Storm four-pointer. Cam Smith with the conversion attempt from in front was successful.
Melbourne Storm 12-0
15 min: UNFORCED ERROR Penrith Panthers
Michael Gordon ruled to have knock on as he tried offload the ball. The referee ruled no advantage as the Storm threw a forward pass. Scrum feed Storm on the Panthers 30 metre line.
18 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Scored by Jesse Bromwich. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith unsuccessful.

Jesse Bromwich took the short ball and crashed through the defensive line to score the Storm's third try of the afternoon. The Storm are on fire so far with points flowing as fast as the clock. Cam Smith with the kick from out wide pushes it to the right of the posts
Melbourne Storm 16-0
21 min: Clint Newtown takes a gallop down the touchline after taking the loose ball in the in goal area. Following that, Cam Smith is penalised for a flop in the ruck. Panthers find touch and start their set from inside the Storm's 40 metre line.
22 min: VIDEO REFEREE for the Panthers, Michael Jennings dived over but is claiming one
22 min: Michael Jennings got the RED LIGHTS as he lost it before able to get the ball to ground. The Storm hold and don't concede points, they have possession through a 20 metre restart.
25 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Scored by Sisa Waqa. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

Sisa Waqa has his second four-pointer as he stepped and fended away from Panthers' defenders. Cam Smith nailed the conversion to make it 3/4 attempts
Melbourne Storm 22-0
26 min: UNFORCED ERROR Melbourne Storm
Sisa Waqa attempted to take the pass on the wing but unable to take it cleanly, knock on the call. Panthers get the scrum feed on their 40 metre line.
28 min: Zero tackle for the Panthers as they attack inside the Storm 30 metre line.
28 min: UNFORCED ERROR Penrith Panthers
Michael Jennings made a meal of the ball in the tackle and dropped it. Storm come away with the ball on the zero tackle on their 20 metre line.
35 min: TRY
TRY! Melbourne Storm

Justin O'Neill leapt through the air and took the ball to stroll through the line. An amazing try for the Storm. Cam Smith converts
Melbourne Storm 28-0
38 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Scored by Cooper Cronk. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

Cooper Cronk slips through the line after taking the pass to strolled through the defence. A very simple running play to score another try. Cam Smith with the conversion extended the lead
Melbourne Storm 34-0
40 min: HALF TIME at AAMI Park: Storm 34 lead Panthers 0 after a massive points raid from the Melbourne boys. It's been all the Storm as the Panthers started on the back foot from the kick off with the Storm scoring in the first 34 seconds.
41 min: We are back underway with the Storm kicking off to give the Panthers first use of second half.
42 min: UNFORCED ERROR Melbourne Storm
Cooper Cronk dived out to take the ball but unable to hold it. Scrum feed to the Panthers on their 30 metre line.
43 min: Penalty to the Panthers and they find touch on the Storm 40 metre line.
45 min: A knock on has called back Billy Slater from scoring his try. A long pass put down by the Melbourne side.
46 min: UNFORCED ERROR Melbourne Storm
Cooper Cronk attempted to take the high ball but knocked it on at the goal line. The Panthers with a good chance to come up with first points from a scrum feed inside 10 metres
48 min: UNFORCED ERROR Melbourne Storm
Justin O'Neill tapped the ball high in the air which was taken by Will Chambers, knock on the call. Panthers with the scrum
51 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Scored by Justin O'Neill. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

Justin O'Neill claims his second try of the day as he flew through the line to dive on the Gareth Widdop grubber kick. Cameron Smith converts to make it a familiar scoreline in 40-nil
Melbourne Storm 40-0
54 min: A great take in goal but give away a penalty for the Panthers as the Storm ruled offside. Chance for points inside the 10 metre line.
55 min: Coote stabs the kick into the in goal area on the 3rd tackle and the Storm ground it in goal to give the panthers a repeat set with a line drop out
62 min: The touch judge on the spot to deny the Storm points. Bombed chance on the zero tackle
64 min: Coote kicking for the in goal area again sees the Panthers get a line drop out with Will Chambers forced to take the ball over the dead ball line.
65 min: UNFORCED ERROR Penrith Panthers
Travis Robinson in the contact of the tackle of Sika Manu and Slater dropped the ball. Scrum feed for the Storm on their 10 metre line
71 min: TRY
TRY Penrith Panthers
Scored by Matt Robinson. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh successful.

On the last tackle the Storm defence not up to the game with Matt Robinson strolling through to dive over for first Panthers' points. Luke Walsh with a beautiful strike to convert.
Melbourne Storm 40-6
74 min: Penalty to the Storm for the Panthers not clearing the ruck fast enough for the referees liking. Storm attacking on their 40 metre line.
75 min: The Storm looking to pass it quickly but the tap on the ball went forward. Scrum feed to the Panthers on their own 40 metre line as the Storm's completion rate falls to 23/35.
76 min: UNFORCED ERROR Penrith Panthers
Clint Newton attempted to take the short pass quickly but failed to get a catch on it. Scrum feed with the Storm on their 30 metre line.
78 min: Penalty to the Storm on halfway for a slow release from the Panthers, the Storm will look to close out the game with another try
80 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Scored by Sika Manu. Conversion attempt by Cameron Ciraldo successful.

Sika Manu slipped through the line to post a simple try after taking a lovely short ball from Widdop. Cam Smith converted as the siren sounds.
Melbourne Storm 46-6
80 min: FULL TIME at AAMI Park: The Melbourne Storm have bounced back to form in style with a 46-6 thrashing of the Penrith Panthers at AAMI Park in front of 9,223 fans. After five straight loses the Storm hoped to find some form back at home and with a powerful performance they did exactly that

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