NRL: Storm thrash Raiders

Storm players congratulate Kevin Proctor after scoring a try during the round 21 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Melbourne Storm. Photo / Getty Images.
Storm players congratulate Kevin Proctor after scoring a try during the round 21 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Melbourne Storm. Photo / Getty Images.

Melbourne showed there was plenty of bite left in the reigning premiers as they flexed their muscle to hand Canberra their worst ever defeat in a 68-4 hammering at Canberra Stadium.

Looking to win at home for the 13th straight game, the Raiders were instead embarrassed on their home patch, the Storm running in 12 tries in a breathtaking performance.

The defeat eclipsed the 54-3 loss to Parramatta in their debut campaign in 1982, while the 64-point winning margin matched the Storm's best when they beat Wests Tigers 64-0 in 2001.

The win erased any doubts as to the Storm's premiership credentials, which were looking shaky with four losses from their previous five games.

Winger Mahe Fonua, a late call-up for Justin O'Neill, scored a hat-trick as Sisa Waqa, while Billy Slater and Will Chambers added doubles - Slater moving past 150 tries with his first-half scoot from dummy-half.

Skipper Cameron Smith finished with 20 points from his ten conversions, moving into the NRL's top ten for goal kicks in the process.

The Raiders just couldn't go with the Storm with the game as good as over at halftime with the visitors leading 32-4, the halftime rev-up doing nothing for Canberra with Fonua finishing off his hat-trick just two minutes into the second period to maintain the avalanche of points.

The margin of the heavy defeat did some major damage to the Raiders' points differential, which moved to -104 courtesy of the loss.

They maintained their hold on seventh, while the Storm remain fourth, but they are now within touching distance of Manly on points differential with both sides on 29 competition points.

Canberra's only joy came in the seventh minutes when exciting rookie Anthony Milford scored to cut the Storm's lead to 6-4, but it was all downhill from there for the home side.

The one area of concern for Melbourne was a neck injury to Maurice Blair, after he landed awkwardly in the 11th minute and had to be taken from the field on the back of a medicab.

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