Updated: Apr 12
Melbourne Storm’s Jersey Flegg side has returned to the winners circle, outclassing the Canberra Raiders 26-8 at Raiders Belconnen on Friday.
The Raiders would get the jump on Storm in the opening exchanges, Regan Carr crossing in just the 2nd minute of play.
Storm wouldn't wait too long to reply however, opening their account in the 12th minute when try scoring machine AJ Gugeon was the benefactor of a Storm shift on its own 40m line.
Storm spread it left and Mitchell Jennings burst through a gap in the Raiders defence before linking up with Russell-Smith who floated a ball across to AJ Gugeon who was backing up through the middle.
Raiders would be next to score when Kaden Williams sliced through in the 18th minute but the Raiders would head into halftime only leading 8-6, with neither of their conversion attempts successful.
Sheldon Diaz would give the Storm its first lead of the afternoon, Jerry Musu’s decoy run doing enough to distract a handful of green jerseys and Diaz taking full advantage of the isolated defender and barging over under the sticks in the 39th minute.
From there Storm really began to stamp its authority on the contest, beginning to take control through the middle of the field with some strong defence and damaging runs.
Young hooker Suli Prescott took advantage of this in the 48th minute, weaving his way through some tired Raiders forwards and finding Russell-Smith who once again found his partner in crime AJ Gugeon who took off downfield.
With Gudgeon brought down 20m out, Storm wasted little time in shifting it left to expose an unsettled Raiders defensive line, the ball coming out to Matthew Hill who dove over in the corner.
Storm then used a waterlogged in-goal area to its advantage for its next two tries, Russell-Smith winning the race to a De’Ontae Perese grubber in the 52nd minute and Angus Hinchey also the benefactor of a grubber that sat up in the in goal in the 58th minute.
Storm will now turn its attention to its Round 7 clash against the Rabbitohs at Comely Banks Reserve as it searches for back-to-back wins.