Ebene News – AU – Storm thump Tigers, wins first place in the NRL

A series of injuries did not prevent Melbourne from crushing the Wests Tigers 66-16 and reclaiming first place in the LNR at Sunshine Coast Stadium

The Storm was reduced to 14 men for the final 20 minutes after Kiwi hooker Brandon Smith (calf plugged), two test centers Reimis Smith (sprained ankle) and Tom Eisenhuth (elbow dislocated) fell

There was more drama after giant striker Nelson Asofa-Solomona was sentenced in the 66th minute for high contact

But the Melbourne juggernaut continued to rumble, clinching his 12th straight win with 12 tries against three after leading 40-0 at halftime

The Storm (13-2 record) edged Penrith to regain the lead thanks to a 344 point differential in the NRL after 15 laps

Tigers coach Michael Maguire was so disgusted with his side at halftime after disclosing seven unanswered tries that he barely spoke with his players before storming out of the locker room, leading his squad to support with him to leave his abandoned players to figure things out

The Tigers at least showed some brawl in the second stanza, with Tommy Talau (55th minute), Luke Garner (66th) and David Nofoaluma (76th) crossing paths but it was too little, too late

They were on track to at least equal their club record by beating the Tigers 64-0 in 2001, which is also the joint venture’s heaviest loss in club history

Although they failed, it tied the biggest margin of victory of 2021 after Melbourne beat South Sydney 50-0 in the ninth round

The Storm had also recorded the most first-half points compiled by any team this season, eclipsing Cronulla’s 36-6 score against North Queensland in the fourth round

The start of barnstorming is just short of Newcastle’s all-time NRL halftime record of 48-0 against the Cowboys in 2003

The Storm dominated the first half, dropping from 910m to the Tigers’ 317m, grabbing 283m after contacting the joint venture’s 96s and the lead line breaking 7-1 and tackle the busts (29-6)

Melbourne is now 8-0 at home, Sunshine Coast Stadium, after scoring 40 or more points for the ninth time in 12 games

The match was originally scheduled to be played at AAMI Park in Melbourne, but has been moved north due to the COVID-19 situation in Victoria

Storm coach Craig Bellamy also claimed the Non340 career victory, tying Tim Sheens for second on the all-time list behind Wayne Bennett

The Tigers were down to 16 after striker Shawn Blore (ankle) fell in the 35th minute

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Wests Tigers, Melbourne Storm, National Rugby League, Michael Maguire

Ebene News – AU – Storm thump Tigers claim first place in NRL

Source: https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7304607/storm-thump-tigers-claim-nrl-top-spot/?cs=14238