Melbourne Storm winger Marika Koroibete put on an awesome display of pace and power to help set up a 30-14 win over the Warriors in their NRL clash at AAMI Park.
Storm skipper Cameron Smith said mid-week his team’s form was good enough to be sitting alongside the competition front-runners and they certainly played like that.
They ran in five tries, with the Fijian scoring one in each half and setting up another.
The Warriors have an impressive record against the Storm, winning three of their last five meetings, and looked strong early on in front of a crowd of 18,179 – with plenty barracking for the visitors.
In the first 15 minutes the Warriors had 65 per cent of possession, but had nothing to show for it.
Instead, it was the home side who were first on the board through Mahe Fonua.
The Storm winger touched down for an an unlikely try in the 20th minute.
It looked like Melbourne would come up empty-handed after sending the ball wide but centre Will Chambers managed to fling the ball back on the last tackle.
Fonua doubled back, scooped it up and then charged through five defenders to touch down.
He returned the favour in the second half when he off-loaded to Chambers to score his team’s third.
Koroibete’s try came late in the first when he ran on to a long ball from five-eighth Blake Green and got around a swag of Warriors to score.
The Storm led 12-4 at half-time after a late effort by Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei, who somehow managed to ground the ball carrying four Storm players across the line.
Chambers’ try pushed the lead out to 18-4 before Nathan Friend again got his team back in contention with a simple dart from dummy half.
They then traded tries through the Storm’s Tim Glasby, which came after a 70m burst by Koroibete, and Warriors’ Sebastine Ikahihifo.
Koroibete then had the final say, getting over again in the corner in the 71st minute.