The Bromwich brothers Kenny and Jesse each scored a try as Storm kicked off their 2019 campaign in style with a 22-12 win over the Broncos before their hometown fans at Melbourne’s AAMI Park.
Jesse Bromwich’s try in the 67th minute was the match clincher, and it also made up for a mistake the former Kiwis captain made just moments earlier when an offload ended up in Brisbane’s hands.
The last time the siblings both scored in a match was against Parramatta in 2013.
The biggest question mark for the Broncos, despite some loose defence, was the health of star centre James Roberts. He left the field after five minutes, limping badly from a lower back injury, and didn't return.
The Storm showed life without champion fullback Billy Slater will still be fruitful as they ran in four tries to two in a one-sided contest to continue their remarkable record in the first round of the season.
Match: Storm v Broncos
Round 1 -
Venue: AAMI Park
- Nine Network
- Fox League
- LIVE PASS
You have to go back to 2001 to find the last time the Storm lost a season opener and it rarely looked like being any other result as the hosts dominated proceedings in front of more than 16,000 fans.
Within 15 minutes of the opening kickoff the Broncos had given up two tries, lost Roberts for the entire match, and were being bossed around by a physical Storm pack led by Nelson Asofa-Solomona.
The Broncos were lucky to trail by only 10 at halftime and when they gave up a four-pointer to Kenny Bromwich early in the second half they looked dead and buried.
A pair of tries to Corey Oates in a quick three-minute burst around the hour mark gave the Broncos some hope. But that was as good as it got for new coach Anthony Seibold as the Storm steadied late to ensure their amazing opening round streak continued.
Jahrome Hughes may not have been first choice during the pre-season to take Slater's spot at fullback, but the young Kiwi scored the first try of the match and looked assured at the back under the high ball any time the Broncos attacked.
That happened little though as the Broncos struggled to gain any meaningful possession and much of Hughes' game revolved around showing off his attacking prowess with ball in hand.
The ever-reliable duo of Cameron Smith and Cameron Munster were on song with their kicking games right from the whistle and always seemed to make the right decision late in the tackle count.
The Broncos never really came to grips with the loss of Roberts and a more determined Storm outfit.
Apart from Oates' second-half cameo it was a disappointing night for the Broncos, who were outplayed by Craig Bellamy's side and made to look second best for much of the match.
It was fitting that Hughes opened the scoring in just the third minute right in front of the newly-unveiled Slater Stand and it didn't take long for the Storm to double their advantage when centre Curtis Scott sprinted 55 metres to score moments later.
Felise Kaufusi almost had a third shortly after and, with a wealth of possession the hosts were enjoying, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before the Storm would cross score again.
The Broncos somehow managed to head to the sheds still in touch but then the Bromwich brothers show in the second half sealed the Storm win.
Oates' effort got his side within four points (16-12) with his second try coming from an errant Jesse Bromwich offload.
But the Storm veteran made up for his mistake by scoring a superb individual try from 25 metres out, throwing a dummy and diving low to slide over the line.
The visitors threw the ball around late in a valiant bid to pinch victory, but it was all in vain as the Storm defence held firm.
News & Notes: Storm have not lost a Round 1 game since 2001… Broncos teenager, 19-year-old Thomas Flegler from Tully in north Queensland, makes his NRL debut…. the Broncos have won only two of their past 18 games against Melbourne... Next week Storm travel to the national capital to play the Raiders while the Broncos are back at Suncorp Stadium to face the Cowboys in the Queensland derby.