League: Melbourne rediscover their superpowers

NRL
Storm 46
Bulldogs 0

The Storm have been a bit off colour of late. A bit like Superman losing his powers after being exposed to kryptonite.

Last night they were back to full health, piling on points for fun and jumping to the top of the table - at least until this afternoon.

They did it against an injury-ravaged Bulldogs side most notably missing Sonny Bill Williams (knee). But even he wouldn't have been able to stop the Storm.

The Melburnians had been hit hard by representative duties and scoring an average of only 14 points a game for their last four games was very un-Storm like. They still managed to win three of those games, however, so it was hardly a crisis by some team's standards and they have now won seven of their last eight.

They led 28-0 by halftime, enjoying 65 per cent of possession. This was emphasised in the statistics, which showed the Storm amassed 828m to the Bulldogs' 356m and missed only one tackle to the visitors' 25.

Even if the Bulldogs had managed to keep things close at halftime, the sheer weight of possession and amount of tackling they had to do would have told in the end.

As it was, the procession started in the 13th minute when skipper Cameron Smith buried over from dummy half and he was followed over in quick succession by Matt Geyer, Israel Folau, Steve Turner and Jeremy Smith.

Folau's try was the pick of the lot. Starting on their own 40m line, the Storm broke out through Dallas Johnson and involved Michael Crocker and Cooper Cronk before Folau scooped up a difficult pass and scrambled over.

By the end of the half the Bulldogs seemed more like poodles. They weren't the best in show, either.

It allowed the Storm to play with the freedom in the second spell of knowing the result was already beyond doubt and they dropped their intensity and accuracy. The Bulldogs were also much improved but they still failed to register any points.

Crocker, who last week became the latest player to take the money on offer in the UK Super League after signing with Hull FC, scored when he latched onto a Cronk grubber soon after the restart and Geyer and Cronk crossed to round things off in the final eight minutes.

The Storm still have some trying times ahead of them with two more Origin games left in the coming weeks but, like Superman, are strong enough to overcome their problems.

Storm 46 (M. Geyer 2, C. Smith, I. Folau, S. Turner, J. Smith, M. Crocker, C. Cronk tries, Smith 7 gls) Bulldogs 0. HT: 28-0.

- Herald on Sunday

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