Smith in fine form for 350th outing
MELBOURNE love a milestone almost as much as they love Cameron Smith so they were never going to lose a game that involved both.
The Storm celebrated their skipper’s 350th game with a crushing 40- 6 win over Manly at AAMI Park yesterday.
Smith joined Canterbury great Terry Lamb on the mark and now has Darren Lockyer’s record of 355 in sight by season’s end.
The victory reaffirmed Melbourne’s status as raging title favourites, while the Sea Eagles cling to seventh spot.
In typical Smith fashion, the 34- year- old didn’t sit back and bask in the glory but topped his team’s tackle count and had four try assists from their haul of seven, despite taking a pectoral injury into the game.
Melbourne rookie Jahrome Hughes, who played fullback with Cameron Munster reverting to five- eighth, opened the scoring thanks to a backhand pass from Smith.
The Sea- Eagles hit back through winger Matt Wright after a long cut- out pass from fullback Tom Trbojevic, who was one of his team’s best.
A Storm try in the 39th minute to Suliasi Vunivalu crushed the Sea Eagles’ spirits.
Shortly after half- time hardworking second- rower Joe Stimson ran on to a Smith ball and with the lead out to 18- 6 Melbourne never looked back.
Tries from Kenny Bromwich, Will Chambers, Cooper Cronk and Josh Addo- Carr blew out the score.
Manly’s Addin Fonua- Blake was put on report for a high tackle on Cronk.