When the final score of 24 – 8 went up, it would have been easy to think that Melbourne had taken advantage of a soft spot in their fixture with the Gold Coast Titans.
They actually had to do a little work, as many of the group from Gold Coast, players and others included, went into Melbourne with the idea of having jobs for next season.
The Storm was unable to lock in the minor premiership, but they have guaranteed a top-two finish.
Sydney was also enjoying an easy week, with St. George doing little to coop the Roosters, who crowed loud and long at Netstrata and came away with a 34 – 12 win.
The Chooks were up 28 – nil at the half and converted five of their six tries on the day, four of those courtesy on head-cooper Cooper Cronk.
In Melbourne, meanwhile, the Titans held the lead, albeit a slim one, at the half, going into the main break with an 8 – 6 lead.
Melbourne had a difficult time completing sets and they were on the receiving end of eight penalties. Cameron Munster was penalised twice and centre Curtis Scott was sent to the headmaster’s office for dangerous tackling.
It seemed as though Craig Bellamy’s men were experiencing hangover effects following the loss to Canberra round previous, but they had better find the tonic soon, as being sloppy going into finals does not bode well.
There was plenty of trouble to go around in Round 23 of the Telstra 2019 NRL Premiership competition.
Parramatta found out that Canterbury is intent of mucking up the ladder. The Dogs went to Bankwest and came away with a 12 – 6 victory.
North Queensland sent a “Not so fast there, mate” message to Penrith, beating the Panthers 24 – 10.
Manly did what Melbourne could not, beating Canberra 18 – 14.
The Broncos’ loss to the Bunnies moved them down to eighth on the ladder. Wests have climbed to ninth and Cronulla, courtesy of a 42 – 16 thrashing of New Zealand, have climbed to seventh.
Next week’s fixture offers some promise, with Melbourne playing Manly, Parramatta and Brisbane at Suncorp being the primary attractions.