The Storm have continued their incredible record for season openers, extending their opening round win record another year with a solid 22-12 win over the Broncos at AAMI Park.
The Storm dominated the match from the start, with Jahrome Hughes going over for the first try of the 2019 NRL season in the 4th minute. Controversial player, Matt Lodge, could find himself in a bit of hot water, having been penalised for a late leg tackle on Storm playmaker, Cameron Munster in just the 3rd minute of the match. Curtis Scott followed this up with a try of his own in the 13th minute and Cameron Smith converted successfully, putting the Storm 10-0 up within 15 minutes.
The remainder of the first half saw no more points scored, however, the Broncos struggled to gain ascendancy in the territory battle, barely seeing the opposing 20 metre line for 30 minutes of play.
Broncos mount a mini-comeback, albeit in vain
The Brisbane Broncos started the 2nd half in the worst fashion, conceding a try to Kenneth Bromwich in the 48th minute. Following Smith’s successful conversion, the Broncos were now down 16-0 after 50 minutes and it appeared that the score line could get ugly. However, two tries to winger Corey Oates, in the space of just four minutes, brought the Broncos back into the game. After 64 minutes, the score was 16-12 and set for a grandstand finish.
Melbourne too classy in the end
Despite the Broncos’ brave efforts, the Storm proved too professional in the end. A great try to Jesse Bromwich in the 68th minute sealed the game, putting the Storm 10 points in front. Munster was one of Melbourne’s best, showing his class over opposing halves Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima. Brisbane will be happy with the successful return of Matt Gillett, who topped their tackle count (50).
Those who feared the Storm wouldn’t be the same side without Billy Slater will be relieved with a strong win over title contenders, Brisbane. Likewise, it appears their loss to the Roosters in last year’s Grand Final has had no hangover effect on their performance.