Storm claim victory in match of the year
8 hours ago | Robert Crosby
Life without Stephen Kearney has kicked off in worst-possible fashion for the Warriors, slumping to an embarrassing 50-6 loss to the Storm on Friday night.
While Todd Payten's men put in a strong opening to the game, they were unable to capitalise on their opportunities.
When the pressure was turned on them and they were forced to defend their line, there was little resistance.
The Storm on the other hand went the entire second half without star five-eighth Cameron Munster, who is set to miss the next fortnight with a medial ligament injury.
At one point in the second forty the Storm's bench was empty.
Yet they raced away for their biggest win of the year.
It wasn't a perfect performance by any means - there were dropped balls, subsequent Craig Bellamy blow ups.
But they still emerged 44-point victors - a scary proposition for the rest of the competition after last week's 21-14 loss to Penrith had some questioning if Melbourne were still capable of going all the way.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, as always, led from the front for the visitors as he finished Friday's outing with 211 running metres as he constantly tried to spark his teammates in attack.
Even he was left visibly frustrated as his teammates squandered crucial opportunities against a team that you simply can't be wasteful against.
Suliasi Vunivalu nabbed a hattrick while Ryan Papenhuyzen and Paul Momirovski also bagged doubles in the victory.
Patrick Herbert went over for the sole try for the visitors.
The Storm have a massive fortnight to come with the Roosters and Raiders to come but will have to play both games without Munster.
The Warriors have fellow strugglers Brisbane next week as they look to restore pride or risk further questions being asked about the timing of Kearney's departure.
Melbourne Storm 50 - Warriors 6
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
Halftime Score: Melbourne Storm 22 Warriors 0
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Jahrome Hughes
2 points - Cameron Smith
1 points - Ryan Papenhuyzen
MELBOURNE STORM (50)
Tries: Paul Momirovski (2), Suliasi Vunivalu (3), Ryan Papenhuyzen (2), Brandon Smith, Josh Addo-Carr
Conversions: Cameron Smith (7/9)
Tries: Patrick Herbert
Conversions: Chanel Harris-Tavita (1/1)