HANGING ON: Lachlan Maranta of the Broncos runs the ball against the Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium last night.
HANGING ON: Lachlan Maranta of the Broncos runs the ball against the Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium last night. Chris Hydegetty Images

Broncos battered by Storm as rough week continues

MELBOURNE maintained its amazing dominance over Brisbane to end a rough week for Broncos coach Anthony Griffin posting a 30-8 victory at Suncorp Stadium last night.

Storm skipper Cameron Smith (1605 points) sailed past former Rooster Craig Fitzgibbon (1604 points) as rugby league's leading forward goal kicker, converting Ryan Hinchcliffe's 65th minute try, snuffing out any hope of a late Broncos comeback.

Back-rower Ryan Hoffman helped himself to double while winger Marika Koroibete, Hinchcliffe, and man-of-the-match Cooper Cronk crossed for tries in a very clinical display that secured their place in the bottom half of the top eight but left Brisbane's finals hopes dangling with a tough run home.

Cronk's kicking game was outstanding setting up first half tries for Koroibete and Hoffman that gave the visitor's a 12-0 lead after just 15 minutes.

Melbourne's second try to Hoffman was hotly disputed as it appeared teammate Billy Slater took out Broncos halfback Ben Hunt in their air without the ball.

Brisbane barely saw the football in the opening 12 minutes as the Storm crossed twice in 14 minutes for a 12-0 lead before the Broncos replied through the outstretched arm of centre Dale Copley for his 15th try of the season midway through the opening half.

In the other clash, Newcastle pulled off a stunning upset to beat defending champions the Roosters 16-12 with a try in the final minute by Joseph Leilua.

Melbourne 28 (Ryan Hoffman 2, Marika Koroibete, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Cooper Cronk tries. Cameron Smith 5 goals) bt Brisbane 8 (Dale Copley, Alex Glenn tries) at Suncorp Stadium. Crowd: 36,319.



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