Smith guides Storm to win over Broncos
The mastery of Cameron Smith has led the Melbourne Storm to a 32-16 win over Brisbane at AAMI Park on Sunday.
Melbourne advanced to fifth on the Telstra Premiership ladder with the win, but the performance was soured by a 58th-minute hamstring injury to international prop Jesse Bromwich.
Smith finished the day with 246 kicking metres and 50 tackles. His defensive work came at an efficiency rate of 94 percent.
The Storm trailed 12-8 at halftime but powered home via tries to Cameron Munster, Felise Kaufusi, Suliasi Vunivalu and Jahrome Hughes.
Brisbane had a chance to snatch the game late - trailing by four points with 15 minutes to play - but some ill-discipline and fast-finishing by Melbourne proved too much for the Wayne Bennett-coached side.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy spoke about Smith's contribution to the team during the week and the skipper delivered in the opening stanza, frequently pinning the Broncos on their own line with a text-book kicking game.
Match: Storm vs Broncos
Venue: AAMI Park
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Nelson Asofa-Solomona's new look seemed to energise the big Kiwi, as he led the way for the Storm with some bruising runs. But the Broncos' big men were up to the challenge and looked crisp in attack, using their speed out of dummy half to make ground.
After the teams traded early penalty goals, Darius Boyd found an opening in the 16th minute, stepping back inside Munster to score.
A handling error from Suliasi Vunivalu - who dropped a regulation Anthony Milford bomb - gave Brisbane another chance that they easily took off a scrum, spreading the ball right for an unmarked Jamayne Isaako to score in the corner.
Young Tonumaipea - who announced he will leave the NRL in July for a Mormon mission - brushed off four Broncos to score the Storm's first with eleven minutes to the break.
Addo-Carr then showed no effects from his first Origin game as he forced Boyd over the sideline following a perfectly-placed Smith kick.
Another Origin debutant, Felise Kaufusi, then used his size to run through Milford's attempted tackle and score his third try of the year.
Smith's conversion allowed the Storm to hit the lead for the first time at 14-12.
But the Broncos weren't done. After Addo-Carr went down with what looked like a corked thigh, the visitors attacked his way and Jordan Kahu crossed for their third.
Suddenly it was 20-16 to the Storm. The Broncos looked likely with 15 minutes to play.
But Vunivalu's first try since round seven - leaping high above the Broncos defence - plus Hughes' score just before fulltime sealed the result for the home side.
News and notes: The Storm have now won 15 of their last 17 games against the Broncos ... Cheyse Blair played his first NRL game since Round 18, 2017... Broncos winger Jamayne Isaako has scored five tries in his past four games ...The Broncos face the Sharks at Southern Cross Group Stadium next Saturday ... the Storm head to McDonald Jones Stadium and play the Knights on Sunday.