Storm celebrate Smith’s 300th in style

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

ANY team that had writ­ten off Mel­bourne Storm this NRL sea­son bet­ter grab a tape of last night’s rout and quickly.

The Storm came out of their an­nual State of Ori­gin slump and roared back into form last night with a 10- try haul against the hap­less Pen­rith Pan­thers at Mel­bourne’s AAMI Park.

The 52- 10 Round 19 thrash­ing was the per­fect way to celebrate skip­per Cameron Smith’s 300th game. The much- needed vic­tory ended a four- game los­ing streak and re­minded the com­pe­ti­tion of Mel­bourne’s po­tency even with­out the wiz­ardry of Queens­land’s usual Ori­gin full­back Billy Slater.

The is­sue over the past month has been their dis­jointed at­tack. But last night they could do no wrong.

Winger Marika Koroi­bete was un­stop­pable, half­back Cooper Cronk, who opened the scor­ing in the fifth minute, un­touch­able. Mel­bourne had win­ners in ev­ery po­si­tion against an un­der­manned and over­whelmed Pan­thers out­fit.

Mel­bourne had the match won by half­time, lead­ing 26- 0 af­ter a bril­liant start.

The Storm will have the op­por­tu­nity to build mo­men­tum head­ing into Septem­ber with a favourable draw to come.

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