The New Zealand Warriors have crushed the Melbourne Storm 12-6 at Kardinia Park in a clunky affair that blew away most of the cobwebs from each squads.
It was a two-tries-to-one win for the Warriors ultimately, they usually have been by far the higher aspect all through the match.
Defensively they have been strong and the Storm assault struggled to seek out methods to interrupt down their defence; whether or not it was by the centre or on the fringes.
Bunty Afoa was very good for the Warriors, taking the ball ahead relentlessly and Lachlan Burr, Patrick Herbert and Chanel Harris-Tavita all performed strongly in what seems to be to be a deep Warriors squad with loads of personnel to cowl accidents or suspension.
Melbourne have been clunky to say the least. With no Cameron Smith to information the crew to the suitable spots on the sphere, the house aspect did look a bit misplaced.
Marion Seve was wonderful within the centres, Sandor Earl had a number of good moments on the again and Christian Welch was spectacular up entrance.
Sadly, the Storm have been largely terrible in assault, notably when it got here to ball management within the pink zone. Time after time the lads in purple put the ball down in good attacking positions and regardless of levelling the match at 6-6, they by no means seemed harmful sufficient to constantly threaten the Warriors defence.
The shining mild for the Storm was the efficiency of fullback Scott Drinkwater. It was a stellar sport from the 21 year-old from Penrith, as he sniffed across the edges of the ruck and was probably the most influential participant on the sphere throughout either side.
Drinkwater’s pace and help play are spectacular but his capacity to learn the sport and pop up in the suitable spot on the proper time seems to be his biggest asset.
Many questions have already been requested of a Melbourne Storm aspect with out Billy Slater on the again. Realistically, he won’t ever get replaced, nevertheless Drinkwater confirmed sufficient tonight to counsel that with some growth the Storm might have one other celebrity primary on their palms.
Whereas the trial might have been a bit underwhelming when it comes to a contest, there was a lot to study for each groups.
Stephen Kearney might be effectively and really satisfied that he has the depth in his squad to make an actual cost in the direction of a premiership in 2019.
Craig Bellamy can have, as soon as once more, seen the significance of his captain and talisman to the fortunes of the Storm. Brodie Croft, Brandon Smith and Harry Grant have been lower than spectacular in directing the Storm’s attacking performs.
The one man who did stand out was Drinkwater, a person with doubtlessly the largest footwear within the NRL to fill.
If tonight’s effort was a precursor to what’s to come back for the Storm custodian, the followers in purple might need a brand new hero within the very close to future.