The Melbourne Storm put in a stunning first half demolition job on the Canberra Raiders in their 30-10 preliminary final win.
But it could have been even better if not for a bunker no try call that had commentators baffled.
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Storm forward Jesse Bromwich crashed over for the first score after just six minutes and on Triple M, Mark Geyer was already concerned.
“That’s a bit too easy especially 5 minutes into the game. Bit of a concern for Ricky Stuart’s men,” he said.
He wasn’t alone when the Storm ran in two more tries in no time to burst out of the blocks, running out to a 16-0 lead after nine minutes.
“It‘s a carve up early, Canberra haven’t turned up,” Paul Vautin said on Channel 9 after the second try, which saw the Storm go wide and Josh Addo-Carr draw and pass to put Ryan Papenhuyzen over.
“They’re being cut to ribbons out wide. Look at them walk back disconsolately. Heads are down.”
The Raiders had completed one from two sets before the Storm created a dominant lead in a spectacular opening to the match.
The Storm even had a try disallowed in the 18th minute when Josh Addo-Carr was deemed to have knocked on while grounding the ball on a grubber.
The Fox League commentators were ready to give it a try and were stunned by the decision.
While the focus was on Addo-Carr’s foot going out, the bunker saw a knock on from the Storm flyer.
“No, sorry, I wasn’t even looking at the put down, no downward pressure,” Voss said after the no try call.
But Alexander wasn’t swayed, saying “that’s a try”.
“We all need to find an optometrist who works on a Saturday morning,” Voss said.
But the Storm scored a fourth try in the 23rd minute when Justin Olam caught a loose ball after the Raiders had failed to take care of a bouncing grubber.
“16 minutes from halftime, this is staggering, absolutely staggering,” Andrew Voss said on Fox League commentary.
At 24-0, it was an absolute thrashing and the Raiders never made it back.