Thursday, January 14, 2021
Home Game Storm's Warriors drubbing comes at major cost

Storm’s Warriors drubbing comes at major cost

Melbourne have wasted no time making themselves at home in Sydney, wiping the floor with the Warriors 50-6 at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

Two days after being forced to leave Victoria indefinitely due to a spike in coronavirus cases, the Storm ran in nine tries to snap a two-game losing run.

Suliasi Vunivalu netted a hat trick, Ryan Papenhuyzen and Paul Momirovski nabbed two each, while Jahrome Hughes tallied four try assists.

The Warriors, playing in their first match since the shock sacking of Stephen Kearney, simply had no answers for a ruthless Melbourne attack.

The victory for Melbourne may have come at a cost however, with star five-eighth Cameron Munster suffering a suspected right-knee injury.

Cameron Munster’s knee injury put a major dampner on the Storm’s dominant win over the Warriors (AAP)

“They’re saying 4-6 weeks … It was a really brave performance. I said to him, ‘mate can you play the second half too?’,” coach Craig Bellamy said post-game.

“But the physio hit that on the head straightaway. (He) said he’s done well not to do any more damage in that first half and he shouldn’t be going back out again.”

Munster was caught awkwardly in a Karl Lawton tackle in the fourth minute on Friday and played out the rest of the half, but was interchanged at halftime.

That setback on comes a week before the Storm’s blockbuster clash with two-time defending premiers the Sydney Roosters.

ADDO-CARR SHARES POST-GAME SELFIE AFTER TRY-SCORING FACEPLANT

Munster injured his knee against Warriors

Where Craig Bellamy’s men will stage the game remains unclear, with the club looking at shifting base to Brisbane and playing at Suncorp Stadium.

Despite the one-sided scoreline, the early signs were promising for the Warriors, who themselves have spent almost two months away from home due to international travel restrictions.

Todd Payten’s side had 20 plays inside the opposition 20-metre zone compared to Melbourne’s none inside the opening 15 minutes, but had nothing to show for it.

“Tonight’s performance was an indication of exactly where we’re at. When things go against us, we’re not tough enough to dig ourselves out of it,” Payten said.

“I question whether across the park we had players who were willing to put their body on the line and fight hard for their teammate.”

Suliasi Vunivalu was unstoppable in the second half as he scored a hat-trick in the drubbing (Getty)

Twice they were denied on opposite corners inside the opening seven minutes, before a 60-metre kick return from Josh Addo-Carr ended in Momirovski’s first try.

It was all one-way traffic thereafter, with Vunivalu, Papenhuyzen and Momirovski, with his second try in his first game for the club, all crossing in a seven-minute blitz.

Warriors winger Patrick Herbert finally got his team on the scoresheet when he scored two minutes into the second half.

However the Storm were unmoved, with Papenhuyzen completing his brace three minutes later, and Vunivalu adding two more in the space of three minutes.

Brandon Smith and Addo-Carr completed the rout for the Storm, who also had prop Christian Welch fail a concussion test early.

©AAP2020

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