NRL: Storm thrash Eels

Ryan Hoffman of the Storm is tackled by Ken Sio of the Eels during the round 24 NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Parramatta Eels. Photo / Getty Images.
Ryan Hoffman of the Storm is tackled by Ken Sio of the Eels during the round 24 NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Parramatta Eels. Photo / Getty Images.

Melbourne Storm have steam-rolled lowly Parramatta 64-4 at AAMI Park to continue on their merry way to the NRL finals.

The Storm went into the clash raging favourites against the likely wooden-spooners and lived up to that billing, running in 11 tries to one as the match disintegrated into little more than a touch football contest.

The performance will send shivers down the spine of the other leading title contenders Souths and Sydney Roosters, with Sunday's offering eerily similar to last year's charge to the finals.

The Storm have again emerged from a form slump to find some form and momentum, now chalking up their fourth-straight victory.

The defending champions led 16-4 at the main break, with backrower Ryan Hoffman crossing for a double.

His feat was bettered by star fullback Billy Slater, who scored a hat-trick, with two in the second half as the Eels defence went to pieces.

Parramatta started well enough and were first on the scoreboard in the fourth minute.

They backed themselves and pushed the ball wide, with winger Semi Radradra touching down.

But that was all their fans had to cheer about as the Storm machine clicked into gear.

Five-eighth Brett Finch, who ended the game with a large, white bandage on his face after a cut, pulled the strings to set up both of Hoffman's tries.

It capped a big week for the veteran, who celebrated his birthday and announced his retirement at season's end.

The floodgates opened in the second half with Slater crossing twice, while youngsters Kenny Bromwich and Tim Glasby both scored their first tries in the NRL.

There will be celebrations in the Bromwich house, with older brother Jesse also scoring at the 73 minute mark to bring up the half century.

The Storm still weren't done with Will Chambers posting his second, while fellow centre Maurice Blair also deepened the misery for the Eels.

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