Melbourne Storm celebrate a try against the Titans at AAMI Park in Round 2.

Storm hammer Titans

Two tries in three minutes before half-time was the catalyst for the Storm's big 34-16 win over the Titans on Sunday night.

Trailing 10-6 with five minutes to go in the opening half, the Storm turned on the style to score quick back-to-back tries to take an eight-point lead into the main break.

 


Blake Green scored under the posts after some impressive work from Cam Smith at dummy half to open up space for the five-eighth who bustled his way over the line.

On the return set from the kick off, Smith put in a fantastic kick to find the touchline for a 40/20 and give the Storm a chance to extend their lead.

Melbourne was able to do just that, with Kevin Proctor finding Will Chambers in the corner to cap off a strong couple of sets from the Storm.

One of the biggest stories to come out of the game happened before a ball was thrown, as Billy Slater was unable to take his position in the Melbourne line-up.

Slater was a late withdrawal from the Storm squad, with the same shoulder that hampered the fullback for the backend of 2015 causing problems again.

Slater was sent for scans during the week and will need arthroscopic surgery to assess the extent of the damage, which shapes as a massive blow for Melbourne.

18-year-old Curtis Scott was brought in to replace the injured Slater, and while it took the youngster a while to find his feet, he impressed in his NRL debut.

It didn’t take long for the Storm to get over life without Slater however, as a skilful grubber kick from Smith put forward Dale Finucane over in the fourth minute.

From there, the Titans would have the better of the play for the majority of the first half, and took the lead after tries from Josh Hoffman and Nathan Davis.

This time it was Ashley Taylor's turn to showcase his kicking skills, playing through a clever reverse kick that Hoffman was able to run on to.

Davis gave his side the lead after a strong set of six from the Titans, as Greg Bird played the youngster through for his maiden NRL try.

Both sides had chances to score early in the second half, but Gold Coast hearts were broken when Cameron Munster threw a dummy to shift the Titans' defence, and the centre was able to use the gap to run in and put more points on the board for the home side.

Just three minutes later, Young Tonumaipea caught a Cooper Cronk kick and shrugged a tackle to put the game beyond the Titans, and stretch the lead out to 28-10 with 21 minutes left.

Will Chambers added another for the Storm soon after, as an exchange of passes from Chambers and Tonumaipea saw the centre score his second of the day.

Ryan James pulled one back for the visitors with 10 minutes to play, but it was too late for the Titans, as Melbourne made it two wins from two to start the season.

Melbourne Storm 34 (Dale Finucane, Blake Green, Will Chambers 2, Cameron Munster, Young Tonumaipea tries; Cam Smith 5 goals) def Gold Coast Titans 16 (Josh Hoffman, Nathan Davis, Ryan James tries; Tyrone Roberts, Greg Bird goals) Half time: 18-10. Crowd: 12,637