It was the Grand Final rematch and you got the feeling the Melbourne Storm came out to make a statement in beating the Manly Sea Eagles 26-4.
In truth, the scoreline flattered Manly who were well beaten right across the park.
Billy Slater easily won his much hyped match up with Brett Stewart. Anyone thats seen Slater play this season would know this was not even a contest to begin with. Slater is simply the form fullback and should be the first name selected for the Australian side thats picked in a few weeks.
Greg Inglis looked really strong for Melbourne, he really seems to be coming into being a full time five-eight, while Michael Crocker was just everywhere for the Storm and made a huge impact.
I was very keen to see how Matt Orford would play for Manly.
He had a whinge this week about rumors that Robbie Farah would be selected at halfback for New South Wales in State Of Origin. He claimed such a move would be a slap in the face to players that have played well at halfback their whole careers, you know, like him.
Well, once again, in a big match, Orford was beyond terrible. It must be embarrassing to know that you have a reputation of being a liability to your side as soon as you play in a game that has any sort of significance.
Its just goes to prove what I said last season, Manly made the Grand Final on the back of Michael Monaghans play making ability and organization, it had nothing to do with Matt Orford.
Back to the Storm, Cameron Smith, or Cam Smith as he wants to be know as now, has some major problems with his goal kicking. I think its at a point now where I’d look to turn the kicking duties over the Israel Folau for a while.
Melbourne are good, but even they can’t afford to give away conversions.
Overall the Storm looked great, while Manly just looked over matched.
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