Storm have registered its first win of the Jersey Flegg season, defeating the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 34-20 on Saturday afternoon.
Running out at AAMI Park for the first time this season, Storm produced a flurry of points early in the second half as it held on for the hard-fought win.
After falling just short of victory over the Penrith Panthers last week, Storm were quick to bounce back in the best possible fashion, opening the scoring through Angus Hinchey who burst through in the 11th minute.
Storm quickly found itself in good field position just a few minutes later, Tevita Petelo spotting the markers on the back foot and firing a flat pass to Jordan Wilson who got down low and burrowed over in the 17th minute.
After Storm’s bright start, Manly would hit back with two tries of its own right before the break, leaving scores all tied up at 10-10 heading into the sheds.
With the game in the balance, the first 10 minutes of the second half was always going to prove crucial and it was Storm who put its best foot forward, rolling up its sleeves and winning the physicality battle early on.
That hard running would lay the platform for an onslaught of Storm tries, with Sheldon Diaz crashing over in the 40th minute to give Storm back the lead.
Now on the front foot, Storm showed it wasn’t just about the crash and bash style of footy, producing a moment of magic midway through the second half.
Keagan Russell-Smith spotted an opportunity in behind some fatiguing Sea Eagles forwards and executed a well-weighted chip kick for fullback AJ Gudgeon who kept his composure and linked back up with Russell-Smith who dove over under the posts.
With the Storm forwards laying the platform, the Storm backline began to find joy on the edges, shifting it right and creating enough time and space for Mitchell Jennings to slice through and score.
The benefactor of a Russell-Smith bomb that took an extraordinary bounce straight into his path, Coby Williamson then got in on the action to give Storm a 24-point lead heading into the final stages of the game.
Sea Eagles would score two late consolation tries but it wouldn’t spoil Storm’s party, registering its first win of the season with an impressive performance.
Melbourne Storm have been soundly beaten by the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs 60-6 at Hammondville Oval on Saturday.
Outgunned by an impressive Dogs outfit, Storm struggled to get a foothold on the game as the home side quickly jumped out to an extensive lead.
The defeat ends a string of challenging away fixtures for the side and it will now return home to face the Sydney Roosters at Comely Banks Reserve on Saturday afternoon.