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Live: Melbourne Storm v Sydney Roosters

Post-game: And that's it from me this afternoon. What can we learn from this? Pencil Melbourne in as competition favourites immediately. They were several classes above the Roosters and in this mood will be difficult for anyone to beat. Cooper Cronk - who, according to rumour, is off to the Gold Coast despite their money worries - was probably the pick of Melbourne's players with a superb display and two tries. Billy Slater got the pair he required to complete a haul of eight tries in the first four matches of the season and was also a threat throughout, as was five-eighth Gareth Widdop. The Roosters were actually better than last weekend despite being hammered but were simply unable to withstand a second-half onslaught.

FULL-TIME: Storm 44 Roosters 4.

78th min: STORM TRY. Rod Lawrence finds enough downward pressure and that is Cronk's second four-pointer of the day. He has been outstanding this afternoon. Widdop converts. Storm 44-4.

77th min: And if you backed them you would have been right or so it seems. Cronk is celebrating a try, after chasing Widdop's kick. Video ref checking the put-down.

76th min: You'd have to back the Storm to go in again here. Slater's chip into the in-goal makes the Roosters drop out.

75th min: There's that man Cordner again, but his pass to Perrett goes forward and the Storm have it again with a scrum feed in the Roosters' zone. Can they hit 40?

73rd min: ROOSTERS TRY. Cordner does well to get the ball down under about half the Storm team. It's his first NRL try and that was a strong run to the line from Pearce's pass. Anasta misses the conversion. Storm 38-4.

72nd min: Boyd Cordner thinks he has scored but it's gone to the video ref.

71st min: The Roosters finally get a leg-up with a penalty of their own, followed immediately by another. They are right in the Storm's zone, unfamiliar territory for them for most of this afternoon.

70th min: Waerea-Hargreaves penalised for lying on the man with the ball. Storm decline to take the two points. Shock horror.

69th min: Smith grubbers to the in-goal and Kenny-Dowall is caught. Roosters drop-out. More points could be on the way very soon.

68th min: It's all unravelling for the Roosters. Aubusson's tip-on on the blind side goes into touch.

66th min: Brian Smith spent some time in the summer relaxing in the seclusion King Island in the Bass Strait. He may want to book the first flight out of there from Melbourne after full-time following this romp.

64th min: STORM TRY. Stop the fight. This time it is Will Chambers who gets the points. Nice play by Slater and Manu but that is a soft try. Chambers goes past Pearce with ease after being fed by Cronk. The Roosters are thoroughly out of gas. Smith hooks conversion. Storm 38-0.

61st min: Melbourne, for once, go through the motions for a set, ended by Cronk's towering bomb. Minichiello takes it easily.

59th min: Nearly another try to Melbourne but Matt Duffie somehow spills Cronk's cross-field kick with no one else in sight.

56th min: Only some desperate defence from Kenny-Dowall stops yet another Melbourne try after Lowrie is released by Smith. Widdop unable to get a ball to Waqa and it flies out of bounds.

55th min: STORM TRY. That is brilliant. Straight from the scrum Slater puts Nielsen in a hole and the centre races down field, hands back to Slater, whose chip rests just short of the line where it is scooped up expertly by Cronk. Slight question on the initial pass by Slater but given the all clear. Smith converts. Storm 34-0.

53rd min: Magic stuff again from the Storm. Video ref checking what will be a wonderful try for Cronk. Slater heavily involved again.

52nd min: Oh dear. Pearce forced to reach for a pass well in front of him and he puts it down.

51st min: Widdop called for forward pass to Hoffman. Roosters with scrum feed and chance to finally get on scoreboard.

50th min: Cam Smith brought down in what looked suspiciously like a high tackle by Lama Tasi. No penalty, though and it's a turnover.

48th min: The Roosters really haven't been bad this afternoon, certainly nowhere near as bad as they were last week when they actually beat Canberra. But Melbourne have their tails up and are attacking freely and without restriction.

46th min: STORM TRY. And Slater has his double, for the fourth week in a row. He is the first player to begin a season in that fashion. This is quickly developing into a carve-up. Cronk at the centre of everything there, sprinting onto a neat inside ball by Widdop and then giving Slater the final pass. That's eight for the year in four matches for Slater. Smith converts. Storm 28-0.

44th min: Cronk puts up a huge bomb but Minichiello takes it safely. The Roosters have reason to be shellshocked after this start to the second half.

42st min: STORM TRY. That's an awful start for the Roosters. Slater shoots through a hole almost straight off the kick-off and at the other end Ryan Hoffman crashes over from a nice inside ball by Widdop. Smith converts. Storm 22-0.

2nd half kick-off: The Roosters get the second half underway.

HALF-TIME REPORT: The Roosters can count themselves as unlucky to be this far behind at the break, particularly after that questionable decision from the video official right on half-time. They have looked dangerous at times and were on top for a good portion of that half but some average last-tackle options and a couple of untimely mistakes have been seized upon by Melbourne. It's tough to see Brian Smith's men getting back from here.

HALF-TIME: Storm 16 Roosters 0.

40th min: No try. The video ref, Rod Lawrence, concludes that Perrett has lost the ball over the line. Anasta blowing up - it seemed as though it shoudl have been awarded benefit of the doubt.

39th min: Sam Perrett is over for what will be a sensational try if approved by the video ref. Did he get it down, though?

38th min: The Roosters breathe a sigh of relief. Long pass by Smith is spilled by Widdop.

37th min:  Things starting to fall apart for the Roosters. Aubusson knocks on trying to grab the ball after blocking a kick. Storm on the attack and looking to finish them off on cusp of half-time.

36th min: Fox Sports commentators issue reminder that no player has ever begun a season with four straight try doubles. What price Slater to make history today?

34th min: STORM TRY. Surprise surprise it's that man Slater. Only seconds go buy before the Roosters pay for that mistake, with Slater sliding through a hole effortlessly. That's seven tries for the season, and he is now only one off a fourth successive try double. Smith converts. Storm 16-0.

33rd min: The Roosters have looked a much more polished outfit than seven days ago but Kenny-Dowall puts down a simple ball.

32nd min: Great goal-line defence from the Storm but a couple of questionable options in attack there from the visitors. Wasn't much on when Jake Friend scooted down the blind side on the right and it came to nothing.

30th min: Super play by Mitchell Pearce. Goes for a 40-20 and Billy Slater is forced to tap the ball back in right next to the corner post. It's gone dead and this is just what the Roosters needed, a Storm drop-out.

28th min: STORM TRY. And the video ref Rod Lawrence rules that Ryan Hinchcliffe's decoy run did not impede Boyd Cordner. Proctor did well to get the ball down with Cordner, Anasta and Lama Tasi on him. Back-to-back penalties gave the Storm a huge kick-along there, having been under the pump for the previous 20 minutes. Smith misses conversion. Storm 10-0.

27th min: Kevin Proctor is over the line and claiming the try. Video ref checking for obstruction. 

25th min: Penalty to the Storm. Long kick sees them start the set 30 metres out from Roosters line.

24th min: The Roosters spread it to the left, and Anasta's flick pass just about puts Leilua over. The Storm rush up on the 5th to Pearce, however and he is swarmed making a pass.

23rd min: Billy Slater is human. He puts a pass to ground and the Roosters get another chance to raid the Storm's territory.

21st min: Pearce launches a bomb but it is deactivated by Billy Slater. Lowrie asked to leave the field due to that head cut.

20th min: Cronk plugs a kick deep into the Roosters' zone. The hosts looking to wrestle control back in the field position department.

18th min: Not the greatest end to a set there. Mitchell Pearce's cross-field dink with the boot is knocked down by Kenny-Dowall but the Storm have the ball. Good signs by the Roosters, though, with Cam Smith made to kick from well in his own territory.

16th min: Sam Perrett darts free down the right wing and the Roosters receive a penalty. Big chance for them here. Looking a lot more organised and dangerous than last week.

14th min: Mitch Aubusson coughs up a pass from Cordner early in the set. Cronk feeding a scrum 10m out from his own line.

13th min: Braith Anasta rolls in a grubber at end of Roosters set and Matt Duffie is tackled touch in goal. A repeat set for Brian Smith's men.

11th min: Some good defence there from the Roosters stops Chambers' drive for the line. The code switcher spills the ball and Cordner dives on it. Further relief for Roosters with a penalty.

10th min: Storm get another penalty. Waerea-Hargreaves the offender, called for a strip. Melbouren 20 metres out from Roosters line.

9th min: The Roosters survive on that occasion, with Widdop's grubber cleaned up by Anthony Minichiello.

8th min: Todd Lowrie has a big bandage round his melon after some awkward contact early on in a tackle on Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. Storm on the attack again after nice run by Widdop.

6th min: The mail continues to come in that Cronk has agreed to join the Titans. We'll check that out, and hopefully ask the man himself after the game. The Storm would sure hate to lose him.

4rd min: STORM TRY. That's just too easy. Cronk makes a bust, then Widdop sends a lovely long ball to Dane Nielsen who crosses out wide without being touched. Smith converts from sideline. Storm 6-0.

2nd min: First penalty of the game to the Storm. Martin Kennedy holding on too long.

1st min: And the Roosters complete the first set with a long Mitchell Pearce kick. That's a decent start considering they completed only 53 per cent of sets last weekend.

Kick-off: Cameron Smith gets proceedings under way at AAMI Park after a minute's silence for AFL great Jim Stynes.

Pre-game: Good afternoon and welcome to our live coverage of the Sydney Roosters' visit to Melbourne. A few changes in each line-up. For the Storm, Justin O'Neill (calf) and Anthony Quinn (cork) are out through injury, and are replaced by Will Chambers, playing his first NRL game since his stint in rugby, and Sisa Waqa. For the Roosters, BJ Leilua moves from centre to wing, knocking out Justin Carney, with Mitch Aubusson switching to centre. That allows Tom Symonds to start in the second-row while Brad Takairangi is in for Mose Masoe on the bench.


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