Melbourne made it six wins from six starts with a comprehensive 42-18 win at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Round 6.
In Aaron Payne’s 200th game, the Cowboys shot out of the blocks with the veteran hooker instigating a superb set play inside two minutes for Matt Bowen to score between the sticks. But Melbourne hit back almost immediately with a swift backline move sending Matt Duffie over on the left edge. A poor kick-chase then gifted the Storm great field position and Kevin Proctor capitalised at the end of the set to crash over and make it 12-6.
A bombed try from the Cowboys midway through the opening half proved crucial with the Storm travelling back down the other end for Cronk and Slater to combine for Ryan Hinchcliffe to score. However, when Gavin Cooper crashed through three defenders to score out wide the home side was right back in the contest, down just 16-12 at the break.
Shortly after halftime Slater broke through and although Bowen hauled him in before the line, the Cowboys couldn’t stop Jason Ryles from crashing over for a 22-12 scoreline. When Will Chambers pushed his way over out wide the Storm were well on their way to a resounding win.
Proctor added a second in the 54th minute, Chambers another in the 69th and Matt Duffie in the 74th to round out the victory.
The Storm completed 84 per cent of their sets and ran for 1637 metres to North Queensland’s 1055.
Cronk finished the game with five try assists and Gareth Widdop ran for 168 metres, while James Tamou impressed for the home side with 166 metres and 28 tackles.