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Melbourne 48 Cronulla 6
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Melbourne Storm obliterate woeful Cronulla Sharks

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Melbourne Storm have spent the season searching for a game in which they weave attack and defence into the one performance.

At AAMI Park against a down-trodden Cronulla Sharks the Storm showed they can do it, now the challenge is to dominate a finals side in the same manner. 

The Storm pounded the Sharks 48-6 as Jesse Bromwich, Mahe Fonua and many others mercilessly attacked the lacklustre Sharks' defensive line.

Billy Slater set the tempo for the Storm’s early attacks repeatedly threatening the line.

When the Sharks' kick for touch was low enough for Storm winger Marika Koroibete to tap it back into play, the Storm regained possession and forced themselves to the try line only for Will Chambers to be foiled.

Another attack from Chambers saw Sharks fullback Michael Gordon make a try-saving tackle but on the same possession the ball was moved quickly to Cooper Cronk whose kick found Koroibete on the left wing.


The Fijian passed back to Fonua who held himself up in a Sharks tackle then passed back to Koroibete who scored next to the left sideline flag. Cameron Smith’s kick hit the post as the Storm led 4-0 after eight minutes.

Fonua was again the centre-piece in the Storm’s second try powering to the line despite having four Sharks hanging off him - their efforts were for nothing as the Victorian-born centre powered over and touched down on 15 minutes. Smith converted from the left sideline to make it 10-0.

Sharks skipper Paul Gallen collided with Cronk as the Sharks attempted a kick with the contact cutting Cronk’s eye and forcing him to have some on-field taping to cover the cut. The Storm’s third try was a play of delayed beauty with Bromwich offloading to Smith who pushed the ball across the right as Cronk and then Slater threw perfect cut-out passes, the second pass landed in Sisa Waqa’s hands who scored his 17th try of the season. Smith’s kick went wide as the Storm held a 14-0 lead after 26 minutes.

Soon after Bromwich added a try to a dominant first-half performance powering through a gap in the Sharks defence beating two tacklers and scoring under the posts, Smith’s kick made it 20-0.

On the following possession the Storm again launched up the field with Ben Roberts assisting Fonua for his second try which made it 26-0 after 32 minutes.

Sharks halfback Jeff Robson also went on report for a trip after being out-stepped by Slater, more akin to a yellow card tackle in the English Premier League than anything fit for the NRL.

Not perturbed, the Storm took the penalty and scored another try with Chambers running between two stagnant Sharks to make it 30-0 at half-time.

To add to the Sharks woes the team botched two attempts at finding touch.

The Storm made a lacklustre start to the second half and almost paid the price with a try-attempt from Sharks winger Sosaia Feki ruled out by the video referees.

Bromwich offloaded to forward Tim Glasby for a try on 50 minutes.

Speedy Sharks winger Valentine Holmes gave the away fans a moment of joy with a classy try on the right touch line on 68 minutes, it was much-needed relief for the Cronulla side but nothing more.

The Storm travel to Penrith to face the Panthers next Monday night.