Melbourne softened the blow of losing star fullback Billy Slater indefinitely to injury with a 34-16 win over Gold Coast on Sunday.
The Storm announced an hour before kick-off at AAMI Park that Slater was out of the line-up and would undergo surgery this week on the shoulder that wrecked his 2015 NRL season.
The club were unsure of the severity of the injury, with Slater pulling up sore in his first game in nine months against St George Illawarra last Monday night.
Cameron Munster resumed his position as Slater’s cover at fullback and made himself right at home, scoring a brilliant second-half try as he dummied and then palmed off the defence.
That converted try in the 55th minute made the scoreline 24-10, which the Titans were always going to struggle to come back from as the Storm backed up their solid round-one win over the Dragons.
The bulk of the game was more competitive than the scoreline suggested.
A five-minute period just before halftime proved crucial when the Storm went from trailing 10-6 to ahead 18-10 thanks to tries by halfback Blake Green and centre Will Chambers.
Chambers’ try came after Storm skipper Cameron Smith showed his class with a 40-20 to put his team on the attack just 10 metres out.
Before that the home side looked on shaky ground thanks to a run of errors and penalties, with the Titans taking advantage with tries to centres Josh Hoffman and Nathan Davis.
The second half was all Melbourne with Munster crossing, followed by Storm winger Young Tonumaipea before Chambers got his second try.
The Titans scored late when Ryan James looked like he made high contact on Tonumaipea, who spilt the ball 10 metres from the tryline.
It was scooped up by Daniel Mortimer who offloaded to James to score with the bunker awarding the try.