Storm v Panthers: Five key points
Penrith's poor run in Melbourne continues, Origin stars back up and the Storm pack lift. The key talking points to come from Melbourne's solid win over the Panthers on Saturday night.
Penrith's AAMI Park hoodoo continues
Saturday night's 24-6 loss is the Panthers' sixth-straight loss at AAMI Park, with Penrith still yet to win at this venue.
The Storm must be considered somewhat of a bogey side for the Panthers, as this result takes the overall head-to-head record between the two sides to 24-7 in favour of Melbourne.
Origin stars back up with a varying impact
Four players from Origin 1 took the field three days after playing at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night, although the midweek game didn’t seem to have an affect on any of them.
Josh Mansour was the first to make an impact scoring the opening try after seven minutes, and teammate Matt Moylan didn’t make an error at fullback all night.
Ultimately it would be the Storm who received the most from their Origin stars, as Cameron Smith's brilliant 40/20 in the opening half set the tone for the remainder of the match, giving his side the lead from the resulting attack.
Smith and Cooper Cronk were magnificent for the Storm throughout the 80 minutes, although the little halfback outshone his captain.
Cooper Cronk puts on a show
Cronk overcame an ankle injury just in time for Saturday night's win over the Panthers, and the halfback showed his class yet again putting on a fantastic display.
In the unusual No.23 jersey, Cronk laid on three first-half assists and managed a late try of his own to will the home side on to victory.
Cronk's three assists came in the space of just 15 minutes, as the halfback's pinpoint passes saw Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor find the line, before a perfect kick was put in the path of Ryan Morgan in the corner.
A late line break from Nelson Asofa-Solomona led to Cronk's try in the 79th minute as the Maroons halfback put the icing on the cake and sent his team up to top spot on the table.
Panthers' offloads not a factor
With offloads and second phase play being a big part of the Panthers' attack, they were unable to get themselves going offensively in the first half.
Penrith dominated the opening 15 minutes but could only come up with one try, as the Storm's defensive pressure and strong tackling kept them from adding to their scoreline.
Jesse Bromwich leads a dominant forward pack
It was another impressive night out for the Melbourne Storm forward pack, as they all set the tone from the opening minutes.
Jesse Bromwich, Tohu Harris and Kevin Proctor ran for a combined 504 metres, with Bromwich and Proctor each bagging a try to cap off a successful night for the big men.