floodgates open against Panthers

The Melbourne Storm have comprehensively defeated the Penrith Panthers 42-10 at Olympic Park today laying claims to a top eight position.

Melbourne's Aaron Moule (pictured) scored the first of his hat trick of tries when he crossed after just two minutes.

The Panthers, unable to control possession, had no answer to the onslaught that followed and at half time it was 24-0 Aaron Moule gets a hat trick Indicative of the match was the Melbourne dominance. After 40 minutes, the Storm were enjoying 83% of the game in the opposition's half.

The Panthers struggling to gain field position, were not tackled inside the Storm's 20m line until the 50th minute.

The Storm ran away with the match in the second half and had little trouble busting through some ordinary defence. In the 64th minute, they extended their lead when Steven Bell scored his double on the back of a 95m movement.

The Storm are now serious contenders for a semi-finals berth while the Penrith Panthers are a side looking forward to their end of season trip.

3:00PM, Saturday 17 August 2002 Olympic Park, Melbourne Referee: S Hampstead

Melbourne Storm 42 (Tries: Moule 3, Bell 2, Hill, Moala. Goals: Orford 5/5, Swain 1/1) defeated Penrith Panthers 10 (Tries: Whatuira. Goals: Girdler 0/1, Hicks 1/1)