Superb Storm hammer Cowboys

The Melbourne Storm have claimed a record defeat over the Cowboys, scoring ten tries in a 58-12 rout in front of a crowd of 10,661 at AAMI Park in Melbourne tonight. The Storm led 24-6 at half time.

It took only eight minutes for the Storm to open their account, with Matt Duffie scoring an athletic try.

The Storm doubled their lead ten minutes later with Justin O'Neill scoring just minutes after being denied a very similar try, recovering a bomb and beating defenders to score.

Only four minutes later O'Neill claimed his scored after recovering a grubber kick and again beating cover defenders to score on the sideline.

The Cowboys seemingly were getting back into the match and looked certain to score before Aaron Payne threw an intercept from dummy half to Greg Inglis who ran 95 metros to score.

A bit of controversy followed - Willie Mason was denied a try and placed on report for lifting his forearm into Billy Slater's face in the act of scoring a try, however the Cowboys did manage to score just before half time with James Tamou scoring in a similar manner to how Mason was denied.

The second half was all but one way traffic - Melbourne scored two quick tries with Lima barging over and then Slater latching onto a kick to score a trademark Billy Slater try.

The Cowboys looked to have gained some respectability back when the Storm attempted the kick to Slater again only to have it returned for a try by Shannon Gallant, but it was only momentary relief.

Melbourne scored three tries in seven minutes as the Cowboys edge defence shattered. Cronk scored first off a rebounded kick, before O'Neill claimed his hat trick, and three minutes later Duffie scored his second try.

It still wasn't over, the Storm went on attack off a penalty, and from the tap Cameron Smith kicked infield for Slater who scored his second.

It was almost a flawless night for goalkicking, with Inglis landing three from the sideline, Thurston landing both of his kicks, Cameron Smith landing five from six, along with Brett Finch toe-poking one goal from right in front.

Match Details
Melbourne Storm 58 defeated North Queensland Cowboys 12
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 15 - Saturday June 19, 2010 5:30pm
Venue: AAMI Park
Referee: Ben Cummins and Bernard Sutton
Video Referee: Phil Cooley
Touch Judges: Adam Devcich and Ricky McFarlane
Crowd: 10661
Halftime: Melbourne Storm 24 North Queensland Cowboys 6

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Justin O'Neill (3 Tries)
2 Points - Brett Finch (1 Conversion)
1 Point - Cooper Cronk (1 Try)

MELBOURNE STORM (58)
Tries: Cooper Cronk, Greg Inglis, Billy Slater (2), Jeff Lima, Justin O'Neill (3), Matt Duffie (2)
Conversions: Greg Inglis (3/3), Cameron Smith (5/6), Brett Finch (1/1)

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (12)
Tries: Shannon Gallant, James Tamou
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (2/2)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good evening from AAMI Park in Melbourne. Tonight League Unlimited brings you live update coverage of the Melbourne Storm vs North Queensland Cowboys match kicking off shortly.
Plenty of changes for both teams. O'Neill starting for the Storm, as is Hinchcliffe who starts with Cameron Smith on the bench while Lowrie drops to the bench for Proctor. Gallant to fullback for the Cowboys, Bowen will play 5/8. Few changes up from with Leeson Ah Mau starting along with Steve Rapira.
The Cowboys kick off in front of a small but vocal Melbourne crowd.
1 min: Melbourne get an early penalty to put them on attack inside the first minute.
3 min: Ashley Graham takes a great catch on a bomb under pressure and Slater is penalised for tackling him in mid-air - Slater did appear to be contesting for the ball.
4 min: Cowboys keep the ball alive in a very sloppy manner and end up turning the ball over on halfway.
5 min: Cowboys keeping the ball alive quite well, but in a very ugly fashion. Not highlight reel football so far!
6 min: Storm go on attack from a scrum.
8 min: VIDEO REF - For a Storm try...
8 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Storm move the ball wide to Duffie who puts the ball down moments before being bundled over the sideline. Conversion attempt by Greg Inglis successful.
Melbourne Storm 6-0
10 min: Cowboys restart goes dead on the full and the Storm will go right back on attack.
11 min: Cowboys hold out and get a penalty to come off their own line.
13 min: Cowboys have definitely decided to keep the ball alive tonight - a few well timed passes nearly putting Gallant away before he was dragged down in a last gasp tackle.
15 min: Cowboys seemingly start to play a good defensive set only to give away a penalty and put the Storm on attack.
16 min: A seemingly certain Storm try is called back for a forward pass. Ball went backwards out of the hands but floated a few metres forward.
18 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Storm bomb, recover and O'Neill, who was denied just a few minutes ago beats five defenders to score. Conversion attempt by Greg Inglis successful.
Melbourne Storm 12-0
22 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Finch grubbers for O'Neill who recovers the ball, dummies inside and scores out by the sideline. Conversion attempt by Greg Inglis successful.
Melbourne Storm 18-0
22 min: Inglis has completely slotted every one of his kicks from the sideline.
27 min: Cowboys go nearly 80 metres in one set of six, but a poorly placed kick at the end of the set lets the Storm off the hook. Cowboys will go back on attack as Melbourne make an error.
28 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Oh dear! On the last tackle with the Cowboys hot on attack, Payne throws a pass from dummy half that is intercepted by Inglis who races 95 metres to score. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.
Melbourne Storm 24-0
30 min: Cronk attempts a 40/20 and although it doesn't find touch, it's nearly chased down and recovered by Matt Duffie - however the Cowboys survive.
32 min: Another repeat set for the Storm - spread it wide, Cronk kicks for himself, finds Duffie who kicks again and traps Gallant in the in-goal.
36 min: Cowboys make a break, get six more tackles and of all players running through to pick out, Thurston finds a Storm player. Cowboys will get another chance after the Storm throw a forward pass.
37 min: VIDEO REF - For a Cowboys try...
37 min: NO TRY - Willie Mason is penalised for raising the forearm into Billy Slater in the process of barging over for a try. Popular opinion would think the Cowboys deserve a 10 point try for an act like that.
39 min: Slater spills a bomb and the Cowboys continue attacking.
39 min: TRY
TRY North Queensland Cowboys
Cowboys pressure finally tells on the Storm and Tamou barges over to score next to the posts. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Melbourne Storm 24-6
40 min: Half time in an interesting game. The Storm are good value for their lead, although the game got tighter as the Cowboys started to finally wake up.
40 min: Back underway in Melbourne!
43 min: Watts leaving the field for the Cowboys with a shoulder problem - just as the Cowboys are penalised for an obstruction coming out of their end.
45 min: VIDEO REF - For a Storm try...
45 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Jeff Lima crashes over under the posts. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.
Melbourne Storm 30-6
46 min: Camera shots showing Greg Inglis on the Storm bench.
49 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Cronk kicks back to the middle for Slater who makes a great catch on a high bouncing ball and races away to score. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.
Melbourne Storm 36-6
52 min: Storm all over the Cowboys - with nearly half an hour to go it runs the risk of being a very long night for the Cowboys.
52 min: TRY
TRY North Queensland Cowboys
The Storm try the same play again - this time Slater doesn't get the bounce and Gallant pounces on the ball and runs 70 metres to score. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Melbourne Storm 36-12
55 min: Cowboys make a break down the left but can't get points out of it, although they're now back on attack.
58 min: VIDEO REF - For yet another Storm try...
58 min: Cronk kicks back to the middle in the in-goal, Slater misses and Finch seemingly pinches a try from over the dead ball line - only his foot was on the line when he grounded it. Storm give away a penalty a few plays later.
60 min: Storm drop another possible intercept, keeping the Cowboys on attack.
61 min: Exciting attacking set from the Cowboys ends with a poor kick from Gallant on the last.
63 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Storm spin the ball left, find space. Finch kicks, it rebounds in the opposite direction from where he kicked it off a Cowboys player and Tolman recovers and sets up Cronk to score. Conversion attempt by Brett Finch successful.
Melbourne Storm 42-12
66 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Yet more space found by the Storm on the left, Finch brushes through a nothing tackle and finds O'Neill who claims a hat trick. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.
Melbourne Storm 48-12
69 min: TRY
.TRY Melbourne Storm
The Storm go from sideline to sideline and Nielsen breaks through and passes to Duffie who scores. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith unsuccessful.
Melbourne Storm 52-12
75 min: Starting to wind down towards the end of the game. It's been one way traffic, but it's been a highly entertaining game.
77 min: VIDEO REF - For an unlikely Storm try...
77 min: NO TRY - Cronk bombs to the wing for O'Neill who makes a great catch over his opposing winger and lands on the touch in-goal line.
79 min: Storm will get one last attacking opportunity.
79 min: VIDEO REF - For a Storm try...
79 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
From the tap off a penalty Smith chips to the centre of the field for a flying Slater who scores under the posts. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.
Melbourne Storm 58-12
80 min: Full time in a very enjoyable game - unless you're a Cowboys fan. The Storm put on a complete attacking clinic scoring ten tries on their way to a 58-12 victory.

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