The Late Mail: Dragons v Wests Tigers
25 days ago | LeagueUnlimited Media
The Melbourne Storm have confirmed their spot back on top of the NRL ladder with a dominant 42-6 win over the St George Illawarra Dragons.
In an even first half, the Dragons were matching it early on with the home side though it was the Storm who crossed for what looked to be two tries only to have them overturned by the bunker with the first ruled out for an obstruction whilst the second was ruled to have been a knock-on.
A missed penalty goal attempt from Ryan Papenhuyzen also cost Melbourne a chance to take and early lead whilst the Dragons had an effort denied by the bunker when Mikaele Ravalawa grounded the ball on the touch in-goal line.
The Storm opened the scoring after 20 minutes when Ryan Papenhuyzen went himself at the line and scored and it was third time lucky for the Storm. Extending their lead ten minutes later, the Storm pounced on an error from the Dragons and turned defence into attack racing away to score through Nick Meaney.
It might have been a tight affair in the first half, but it was anything but in the second half as the Melbourne Storm turned on the style and flair in the second half.
A careless play from the Dragons yet again put the Storm onto the attack and it was Nick Meaney who set things up kicking infield for a hobbling Ryan Papenhuyzen to chase through and score. Papenhuyzen left the field with a hamstring injury to go with a knee injury so Meaney took over the conversion duties successfully.
Adding a penalty go to 20 ahead, the Storm didn't stop with the scoring as some great work from Cam Munster to find Jahrome Hughes in open space with a pinpoint kick after Xavier Coates kept the ball alive.
The Dragons defence had been exhausted by the Storm who were able to make easy metres up field and Cam Munster used the fragility as he ran hard and straight at the line to score. The Storm then did the same thing a few minutes later when Nelson Asofa-Solomona was able to charge over at the line.
The Storm held a 36-0 lead when the Dragons were able to get a consolation try through Jack De Belin.
Melbourne put the cherry on top when Trent Loiero charged through to score from close range.
The victory takes the Storm to the top of the NRL ladder on points difference ahead of the Panthers who the Storm meet at Magic Round on Saturday night whilst the Dragons take on the Titans.
Melbourne Storm 42 - St George Illawarra Dragons 6
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Halftime Score: Melbourne Storm 12 St George Illawarra Dragons 0
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Cameron Munster
2 points - Nick Meaney
1 points - Harry Grant
MELBOURNE STORM (42)
Tries: Ryan Papenhuyzen (2), Nick Meaney, Jahrome Hughes, Cameron Munster, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Trent Loiero
Conversions: Ryan Papenhuyzen (2/2), Nick Meaney (4/5)
Penalty Goals: Ryan Papenhuyzen (0/1), Nick Meaney (1/1)
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (6)
Tries: Jack de Belin
Conversions: Zac Lomax (1/1)