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Storm wipe Sea Eagles

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by fLIP, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

    +784 / 15

    MELBOURNE picked up in 2008 where they left off last season, the reigning NRL premiers far too strong for Manly 56-10 in their opening trial at Bluetongue Stadium.

    While the match carried nothing near the weight of their previous clash in last year's grand final, it provided a similar story with the Storm warming up for their World Club Challenge clash against Leeds in a fortnight with a dominant display.

    The match, played over three 30-minutes periods, provided little in terms of a form guide for the season with both sides giving plenty of their younger members a run over the opening and closing term, when the Storm scored 44 unanswered points.

    The middle period was much tougher as the two coaches gave their top stars a run, with each team crossing for a brace of tries in what was the best segment of the match.

    “Both clubs were trying to get different things out of (the) game,” Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy said.

    “I played most of my top-grade side longer than Des (Hasler) did his. You can't really take too much notice of, the scoreline's irrelevant.

    “I was happy with the way my guys played and Des was probably happy with the way his first team played.”

    The Storm leave for England on Monday injury free and ready for a crack at the Rhinos, Bellamy adamant his side was taking the trip seriously.

    “We don't want to go over there and piss up and have a party, it's part of our preseason as well,” Bellamy said.

    “We've got to go over there and we're looking forward to going over there so we want to do the best we can.”

    Beside the good second third showing, the best news for the Sea Eagles was that they too emerged unscathed.

    “It was just a trial - we got plenty out of it, we got a look at a lot of our players,” Manly coach Hasler said.

    “I though Josh Perry was great, I though he was our standout.”

    All the first third showed was that Melbourne's depth is better than Manly's, both sides sending out reserve outfits as the Storm raced to a 20-0 lead.

    The Storm did have a couple of ring-ins playing with the back-up boys though with skipper Cameron Smith and Queensland Origin prop Antonio Kaufusi having a run.

    Kaufusi was playing his first game following a knee reconstruction midway through 2007 while Smith was kept out of the main group because he is unavailable for the WCC due to the impending birth of his first child.

    Both sides crossed for a brace of tries in the second period to see the Storm take a 32-10 lead into the last third. The final period was highlighted by a massive hit from Melbourne backrower Sam Tagatese on Manly youngster Jeff Robson and a double to Storm fullback Billy Slater.

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