A hat-trick from Reimis Smith in a second half point avalanche has helped Melboure Storm to a 40-14 success against a supine Cronulla Sharks side tonight in front of 10,069 fans tonight at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.
Melbourne scored 36 points in their demolition of the Sharks. Despite their changes, the Storm machine kept chugging along headlined by centre Reimis Smith's hat-trick in the eight-try success to maintain their spot in the top four on the ladder.
It was the Storm spine which weaved the magic in the second half. Harry Grant's work in his first start at hooker for the season was slick and gave the platform for Jarome Hughes and Cameron Munster to work. Hughes got himself a four-pointer and was involved heavily as they finished on top of the Sharks.
For 40 minutes, it looked like the ambush was on. Sharks led 8-6 at the break, Briton Nikora crossing from a slick Shaun Johnson pass with a pair of goals from Chad Townsend sent the alarm bells ringing for the home side. The Sharks found joy on the edges but again, errors cruelled them.
Once the Storm kicked into gear, the game was headed one way. The home side followed a simple formula for their scores - Tom Eisenhuth and Tui Kamikamica both crossed from short passes - which put the Storm ahead 18-8 quickly after the break.
Enter the Smith - Reimis that is. The former Bulldog got his first hat-trick since 2018 as the Storm piled on the points. All three were from short range but it has showed how quickly the improvement has been under the coaching of Craig Bellamy.
Despite having a series of changes which saw local product Dean Ieremia make his debut and Brandon Smith at lock, the Storm just kept swimming along. Brandon Smith got himself on the scoresheet in probably the most celebrated try in the 67th minute to cap another strong performance.
It has been a horror fortnight for the Sharks. Since the sacking of John Morris, the side has registered three straight losses and see the season rapidly going down the drain. It will take something monumental from interim coach Josh Hannay to turn this around.