The Melbourne Storm have absolutely schooled the Parramatta Eels with a crushing 32-0 win at AAMI Park to book yet another preliminary final berth against the Sydney Roosters.

It was an unlikely match up and the Storm proved they were a class above to run away with a dominant victory over the overawed Eels.

The Eels, the 2018 wooden spooners, went from 58 points to zero in the finals as they never got into the match, outplayed from the opening kickoff, reports

A huge moment came when Cameron Smith was sin binned just before half-time, the second time in his 412-game career he's been sent from the field.


While it could have been a turning point, the Eels couldn't make the Storm pay without their leader.

It came after he was held down by Eels hooker Reed Mahoney and reacted, lashing out and connecting with two slaps.

Smith spoke on Channel 9 after the game and said it was the right call "as long as it's consistent".

"He just wouldn't let me go and I was just trying get his grip off my jersey and I couldn't so that was unfortunate," Smith said. "I spoke to him a halftime, a little exchange in the tunnel after the first half and he had a little wry smile and said 'got you there', so 1-nil to Reedy but just happy with coming back on and how the boys responded for that 10 minutes, it was a really crucial 10 minutes. I was really disappointed with myself and that I reacted that way and left the side vulnerable with 12 men."

Smith said he was "antsy" in the dressing room.

There was plenty of debate over the sin bin.

Andrew Voss said "an absolute brain explosion here in the semi final with a referee not metres away, centimetres away".

Phil Gould exploded that it was "an overreaction" and "over officiating".


Gould said he was trying to slap at his arm and caught him in the head.

"It's an absolute nothing, an absolute nothing, an absolute nothing, an absolute nothing – what a disgrace," he said.

Post-game, Gould said he was angry about the decision.

"The game's a nanny state," he said. "This governing body is so over protective and interfering with the game they've developed an era of referees that are so over coached and the game is over refereed and this is ridiculous. No one should be sin binned for this, I defy anyone to justify it, I really do. It's not what the fans want, it's not what the players want.

"Honestly. Everyone comes to me because I'm willing to say it but it's a farce, this whole thing with the refereeing over the last five or six years is a total farce. Sooner or later we'll get someone in control of the game who will have the courage to end it, to stop it, to get rid of these people so we can get our game back."

Asked if it was him, Gould said "they wouldn't let me within 100 miles of head office".