MELBOURNE gave their top four hopes a massive boost with a 48-6 defeat of last placed Cronulla at AAMI Park tonight.
Not only did the Storm get a priceless two points, but their 42-point winning margin comes as a huge help to their for-and-against, which could prove crucial in deciding spots in the final eight.
Prop Jesse Bromwich was a standout for the Storm, scoring a try and having a hand in several others.
The Sharks were swept off the field as the Storm ran riot in the first half, charging to a 30-0 lead at the break.
Melbourne scored six first half tries… several with embarrassing ease.
The home team ot on the board after just seven minutes, with winger Marika Koroibete scoring from a Cooper Cronk crossfield kick.
Seven minutes later, quick hands from halves Cronk and Ben Roberts put centre Mahe Fonua over for his first.
Billy Slater sent a long ball for Sisa Waqa to score and then Bromwich charged through the Sharks pack to score up the middle.
Roberts put Fonua over for his second and the Storm rounded off the half with skipper Cam Smith putting Will Chambers over for a simple try.
Bromwich offloaded a superb pass to back-rower Tim Glasby, who raced over for his first try of the year as the lead blew out to 36-0 10 minutes into the second half.
The Sharks finally scored midway through the half, with impressive rookie Valentine Holmes diving over in the corner for his first career try.
Glasby scored his second off a short Slater pass as the Storm hit 40 – and the Sharks started praying for the final siren.
Prop Jordan McLean rounded off the scoring when he barged over late in the game.
– TONY ADAMS