Melbourne too good for sluggish Panthers
The Storm easily accounted for Penrith to earn on Saturday their first win of the Auckland Nines weekend with a 20-4 victory, with the result seemingly ending Penrith's hopes of making it out of their pool.
Melbourne raced out of the blocks with Young Tonumaipea chasing through on a grubber to the corner, then barnstorming winger Marika Koroibete ran around the defence and tiptoed down the touchline before improving his position to make it 10-0 after three minutes.
Storm skipper Will Chambers made it 14-0 with a simple try out wide to all but put Penrith out of it, but the Panthers got on the board late in the first half through Joshua Jay, who showed impressive pace when given a bit of room to cross out wide.
Tonumaipea bagged his second after the resumption, going straight up the middle and sprinting away to score for an unassailable 20-4 lead.
And despite a handful of chances for both sides that proved to be the final score after a scrappy final five minutes of play.
Prop Kenneath Bromwich said the Storm were ready to bring down reigning NRL premiers South Sydney on Sunday and claim a finals berth.
"It's a big confidence boost for us getting that win, we have a young side and now hopefully we can go into the next game feeling confident," he said.
"I know we are a good side. We are going to have to be on our game for the Rabbitohs tomorrow and hold the ball. That will be the key to winning, keeping the ball off them."