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Melbourne dished out Penrith’s worst defeat in 2012 when they flogged the Panthers 44-10 at Centrebet Stadium in Round 9, recording their ninth-straight win for their best ever start to an NRL season.
In windy conditions, Penrith started promisingly and actually led 10-4 after 17 minutes before Melbourne’s stars ignited to cross for three unanswered tries and a commanding 22-10 lead at halftime.
It was one-way traffic after the break, with Justin O’Neill completing a hat-trick of tries in the 70th minute and other four-pointers to Will Chambers and Ryan Hoffman doubling the Storm’s score in the second 40 minutes.
Defence told the story – Penrith tallied a whopping 44 missed tackles as the Storm ran riot with eight line busts throughout the 80 minutes. Meanwhile the Storm were efficient in defence across the park, missing only 15 tackle attempts.
Melbourne’s best included Billy Slater (238 metres and 15 tackle-breaks) and Justin O’Neill (three tries, 202 metres, two line-breaks).