The NRL’s newest neighbours squared off, as the Melbourne Storm welcomed the Gold Coast Titans to their temporary home on the Sunshine Coast.
The early defence from the Titans was sloppy, which allowed to The Storm to cross in the 5th minute.
Cameron Munsters grubber kick towards the uprights wasn’t cleaned up by Beau Fermor and Jahrome Hughes managed to ground the ball.
However, Hughes knocked on before grounding and the Gold Coast escaped unscathed.
After Justin Olam didn’t allow Anthony Don to compete for the ball, the Storm were penalised which gave the Titans the opportunity to attack, but Phillip Sami dropped the ball under no pressure whats so ever to stop the pressure from being built up.
In the 16th minute, Ash Taylor kicked back across the grain, putting the Storm off balance and Jamal Fogarty collected the loose ball and looked to ground the ball over the line.
Unfortunately for the Titans, Ryan Papenhuyzen managed to forced Fogarty to knock-on and the visitors were denied.
A few minutes later though, the Storm made sure they were first on the board.
After multiple straight-up carries in the same set, Cameron Smith came back towards the middle of the park and Cameron Munster was the recipient as be broke through the tackle and dot down under the posts.
It didn’t take long for the Titans to hit back, Taylor kicked behind the line once more and Paul Momirovski was juggling the ball when Brian Kelly pushed him and the centre claimed the ball to score for the visitors.
Melbourne regained the lead almost instantly though as they punished an Error my Fogarty in his own half.
Munster took the ball to the line on the left edge, and with Ryan Papenhuyzen as the dummy-runner, the half-back threw a looping pass to Josh Addo-Carr who raced over to score in the corner.
Just before the break, the Storm punished the Titans for yet another error.
Smith picked the ball up from the ruck and popped the ball to Nelson Asofa-Solomona who powered over Thompson to score.
In the final few seconds before the break, the Titans had the ball in hand, deep inside the Melbourne half. Unfortunately, Taylor’s kick ricocheted off Jahrome Hughes and the half ended.
HALF-TIME: Melbourne Storm 18-6 Gold Coast Titans
It took Melbourne just two minutes to extend their lead further, as Asofa-Solomona picked up a short pass from Cameron Smith once again, and the big man crashed over the top of Taylor.
With 30 minutes to go, the Storm picked up another penalty and Cameron Smith opted to take the two points to push their lead to 20-points.
The Strom should have picked up try number five just after the hour mark, but Momirovski couldn’t quite claim Brenko Lee’s pass.
Just moments later though, Lee made sure he did pick up a four-pointer.
Smith’s floating pass to Hughes gave the half-back time and space to release Lee on the right-side to stroll over from ten-metres out.
The Storm weren’t finished with scoring just yet, this time it was Brandon Smith who picked up from the ruck and burrowed his way over.
With three minutes to go, Keagan Hipgrave attempted an offload, which was picked off by Josh Addo-Carr who raced 70 metres to score his second of the night.
FULL-TIME: Melbourne Storm 42-6 Gold Coast Titans
Papenhuyzen, Momirovski, Olam, Lee, Addo-Carr, Munster, Hughes, B. Smith, C. Smith, Welch, Kaufusi, K. Bromwich, Finucane.
Interchanges: Faasuamaleaui, Seve, Asofa-Solomona, Vete
Tries: Munster, Addo-Carr (2), Asofa-Solomona (2), Lee, B. Smith
Goals: C. Smith (7/8)
Gold Coast Titans
Thompson, Don, Kelly, Sami, Spry, Taylor, Fogarty, Fotuaika, Clark, Jolliffe, Fermor, Hipgrave, Arrow
Interchanges: Boyd, Peachey, Lisone, Wallace
Goals: Taylor (1/1)
Referee: C. Sutton
Touch Judges: J. Stone, G. Badger
Video Referee: B. Lowe
Image Source: @NRL (Twitter)