Storm issue warning with Roosters battering
Melbourne Storm has sent out a warning to the rest of the National Rugby League contenders with a comprehensive 24-6 win over two-time reigning premiers Sydney Roosters in a bruising encounter at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday night.
The Storm ran in four tries and brutalised their opponents with hard-nosed defence for the full 80.
Justin Olam scored a double for the Storm, wedged between tries to Jahrome Hughes and Felice Kaufusi.
Rookie Christian Tuipulotu scored the Roosters only try, capping an impressive showing by the winger.
The Roosters defeat was compounded by injuries to five-eighth Luke Keary, second rower Mitch Aubusson and halfback Lachlan Lam.Keary appeared to sustain damage to the region around his ribs with his coach Trent
Robinson describing it as “something internal”.
Keary was reportedly taken to hospital in an ambulance during the game. Aubusson was set to equal the Roosters games record next week, but a wrist injury will likely put that on hold.Lam sustained an ankle injury.
It was simply a night to forget for the Roosters, who have lost further ground on the top three and will now have a target on its back for those sides outside the four.Embed from Getty Images
“We were poor tonight,” Robinson said.
“We got outplayed. We can talk about injuries and I could sort of talk about how unlucky we were, but we got outplayed tonight.
“We didn’t deserve to win and we’ve got to stay humble about that, take our medicine and get better as a footy team.”
While Melbourne produced one of its most flawless games of the season without stars Cameron Smith and Cameron Munster, Sydney’s ball handling in the first half left a lot to be desired.
The Roosters continually coughed up the ball with uncharacteristic errors, so even though they maintained a decent level of enthusiasm on the defence, it was always backs against the wall due to their sloppy offence
“Physicality wise, I thought we both started quite well,” Robinson said.
“I don’t think they made an error until the last five minutes [of the first half] maybe and we had a run of them. Every time we’d get in decent position, we wouldn’t execute and that’s down to the opposition as well. A lot of it was our more senior guys.”
Melbourne notched its eighth consecutive win since July 19, including two against the Roosters.
The Storm were directed around the park mainly by Jahrome Hughes and Brandon Smith.
Hughes was in total control of the flow of the game, be it by hand or a top shelf kicking game He “battled on” with a sore groin, according to Storm coach Craig Bellamy.
Setting the tempo for Melbourne was forward Christian Welch, who racked up 190 run metres.
Kaufusi, Nelson Asofa Solomona and Kenny Bromwich also had a big impact both ways.
The only negative to come out of the night for the Storm was a suspected broken jaw to winger Suliasi Vunivalu.
Bellamy was satisfied with his team’s dominant display.
“I’m really proud of how our guys stuck in without the two Camerons,” Bellamy said.
“I thought Jahrome Hughes really stood up and Ryley Jacks was good, Paps [Ryan Papenhuyzen] was outstanding and I thought Brandon [Smith] done a really good job, so our playmakers really stood up tonight.”Embed from Getty Images