Storm extend unbeaten home run


Melbourne Storm extended their magnificent unbeaten run at home to 14 with a convincing 28-12 victory over the Cronulla Sharks in front of 11,486 extremely vocal fans.

The win was all the more sweeter for the Storm with veteran winger Matt Geyer celebrating his 200th game in a Storm jersey.

Leading the team out through the Storm banner with his three children, he and his teammates were on fire right from the opening whistle.

Tries to Cooper Cronk, Ryan Hoffman and a typically tough, bulldozing effort from Dallas Johnson sent the home team in at the break leading 16-0.

However, it was their defensive effort that once again stood out.

On one particular occasion, Melbourne faced three continuous sets of six on their own try line, only to repel everything the Sharks could throw at them.

The effort drew plaudits from the coaching staff and commentary team alike, and gave the wonderful crowd plenty of encouragement to spring the vocal chords into action.

The second half started in superb fashion for Melbourne.

After Cam Smith took control of the ball from a Brett Kimmorley kick, he took off through the Sharks defence. With a couple of defenders in Smith's way, he was waiting for support, wondering where it was going to come from.

He needn't have worried. Billy Slater made a run around the outside of Smith and after receiving the ball, there was no-one who was going to catch him.

The Sharks finally got themselves on the scoreboard with 21 minutes to go when Richard Villasanti barged over the try line, and the effort seemed to raise their self-belief, sniffing an opportunity to get back into the game.

However, after throwing everything at them, the Storm's defence held up, and with eight minutes to go, a Jake Webster line-break and eventual offload to Slater enabled the flying custodian to seal the game.

And in a fitting tribute, with Cam Smith off the paddock, Matt Geyer knocked the ball over the crossbar in his milestone game to extend his team's lead.

With five minutes remaining, the Sharks scored a consolation try through Darren Albert after catching a Kimmorley kick.

STORM 28 (Tries: Slater 2, Cronk, Hoffman, Johnson; Goals: C. Smith 3, Geyer) def. SHARKS 12 (Tries: Villasanti, Albert; Goals: Covell 2)