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Perfect Storm thrash woeful Warriors

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NRL: Tuimoala Lolohea has suffered a knee injury causing the New Zealand Warriors another headache for their fullback position

Jesse Bromwich celebrates a try against the Warriors.

Nick SmartHerald Sun

IT was the devastating performance Melbourne Storm had been threatening to produce for a long time.

Over the first seven rounds, the Storm’s forwards gobbled up metres with ease yet the side was struggling to convert strong dominance into points.

The dam wall finally burst to all but drown a besieged New Zealand Warriors 42-0 in front of a crowd of 21,234 at AAMI Park.

Clashes between the Storm and the Warriors have traditionally been tight affairs and the Warriors often trouble Melbourne in their annual Anzac Day clash.

But by halftime last night the game was over, with the crowd stunned by a 28-0 scoreline after the Storm piled on five tries in first 40 minutes.

Melbourne moved to third in the NRL ladder courtesy of a 42-0 massacre that very few people saw coming.

It had winners all over the park in the victory that claimed the Michael Moore Trophy, although back-rower Tohu Harris was the Spirit of Anzac medallist.

Suliasi Vunivalu dives over for his second try against the Warriors. Picture: Colleen Petch.

Suliasi Vunivalu dives over for his second try against the Warriors. Picture: Colleen Petch.Source:News Corp Australia

The burning question is this — was Storm that good or were the Warriors that bad?

The answer lies somewhere in the middle.

The Storm’s attack finally clicked and the results were splendid with eight tries for the night.

Although coach Craig Bellamy would arguably be just as proud his team were able to keep the Warriors scoreless.

On the flip side, New Zealand’s goal line defence was, at times, utterly horrendous.

Melbourne showed no mercy to a Warriors side that had beat the Bulldogs in Wellington the previous week.

It went on the offensive immediately and had two tries on the board within the first 10 minutes.

First it was Kiwi Tohu Harris, who crashed his way over after a short ball from skipper Cameron Smith.

Then minutes it was Tim Glasby’s turn with the underrated Queenslander slicing through the brittle Warriors’ defence with ease.

A dejected Warriors skipper Ryan Hoffman.

A dejected Warriors skipper Ryan Hoffman.Source:Getty Images

Winger Suliasi Vunivalu bombed a try he should have scored, but the Storm soon had its third on the board when Jesse Bromwich scored a try that

It helped that centre Blake Ayshford was sent to the sin bin, although the Warriors were under siege well before the professional foul was committed.

A fourth try for the half came through winger Marika Koroibete, who was on the end of a brilliant pass from Young Tonumaipea.

Fullback Cameron Munster completed the first half rout, crossing to give the Storm a staggering 28-0 halftime lead.

The second half was more a curtain call with Storm adding three more tries to complete the thrashing.

Cooper Cronk got on the score sheet, while winger Vunivalu scored a double.

The Fijian rookie has now scored four tries in his first two NRL games.

Melbourne will next face the Titans on the Gold Coast on Sunday afternoon.

MELBOURNE 42 (S Vunivalu 2 J Bromwich C Cronk T Glasby T Harris M Koroibete C Munster tries C Smith 5 goals) bt NZ WARRIORS 0 at AAMI Park. Referee: Matt Cecchin, Gavin Reynolds. Crowd: 21,233.

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