Storm fire in attack to rout the Warriors
The Melbourne Storm have put on an attacking masterclass on Monday night with a 42-0 win over the Warriors in front of 21,233 on Anzac Day at AAMI Park.
Tohu Harris was named the man of the match and was presented with the Spirit of ANZAC medal as the Storm retained the Michael Moore trophy in an impressive night for Melbourne.
A five-tries-to-nil first half set the tone for Melbourne, as they were able to repeatedly find the gaps in the Warriors defence.
The Storm had seven individual try-scorers in what was their most impressive attacking performance of the season to date.
It only took four minutes for the home side to hit the scoreboard, as Tohu Harris found the line on the back of a short ball from Cameron Smith.
The Storm then made it two tries in the opening seven minutes, with Tim Glasby finding a gap near the posts to stretch the lead to 10-0.
If it wasn't bad enough for the Warriors already, they were soon down to 12 men as Blake Ayshford was sin-binned for a professional foul on Cameron Munster.
Melbourne made the Warriors pay for being a man down, with Jesse Bromwich and Marika Koroibete scoring against the 12-man defence.
Warriors fullback Tuimoala Lolohea suffered a knee injury in the lead-up to Koroibete's try and could not continue, being replaced at fullback by David Fusitua – just a week after first-choice No.1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck had been ruled out for the season.
The Storm would find the line once more in the first half when Cameron Munster stepped past three Warriors to score down the right.
Smith converted and the Storm took a 28-0 advantage into the half-time break.
The Warriors started the second half the brighter side and were able to put repeated pressure on the Storm defence for the first time of the night.
But the best the visitors could come up with was a goal-line dropout, and the Storm soon put the match out of reach when Cooper Cronk crossed in the corner after a strong pass from Smith out of dummy half for his third assist of the night.
The captain added the two from the sidelines to push the margin out to 34 points with just 20 minutes remaining.
The home side weren't done, and Suliasi Vunivalu scored his third try in two games to add insult to injury for the Warriors.
After finding the line twice in the first half and having both tries being ruled out, it was a case of 'third time's a charm' for Vunivalu as he scored with 10 minutes to play.
The Warriors went close to getting on the scoreboard when David Fusitua had a try disallowed in the final minutes after planting some of the ball on the touchline in an effort to score in the corner.
With only seconds left, Vunivalu was in again for his second try of the night after an unusual bounce of the ball fell into his arms in the final minute of the match.
Melbourne Storm 42 (Vunivalu 2, Harris, Glasby, J.Bromwich, Koroibete, Munster, Cronk tries; Smith 5 goals) def Warriors 0. Half-time: 28-0. Crowd: 21,233.