Josh Addo-Carr, Jahrome Hughes and Tino Faasuamaleaui each scored twice as Melbourne Storm raced to the top of the NRL standings with a stunning second-half display at Brisbane Broncos.
The Storm – third at the start of play – needed to win by at least 12 points to overtake Parramatta Eels at the summit and duly delivered a dominant 46-8 success.
Addo-Carr got the scoring started in the second minute, but the comfortable margin of victory seemed unlikely before half-time.
The Broncos even led briefly after Herbie Farnworth crossed and Kotoni Staggs converted before dispatching a penalty, but Cameron Smith’s boot levelled matters before Hughes put Melbourne back in front.
It was one-way traffic following the restart as further tries steadily followed. Kenny Bromwich, Faasuamaleaui and Ryan Papenhuyzen each went over, followed by a stylish second for Hughes with just under a quarter of an hour to play.
Things then went from bad to worse for Brisbane when Tevita Pangai Jr kicked the ball away and was sent to the sin bin for a period in which Addo-Carr and Faasuamaleaui completed the scoring.
Thinking of everyone back home.
for Victoria. pic.twitter.com/sB4Uf8YQ4j
— Melbourne Storm (@storm) July 24, 2020
In the early game, Manly Sea Eagles climbed to seventh with a 24-14 success at North Queensland Cowboys.
Interim coach Josh Hannay took charge of the Cowboys for the first time, but they had a mountain to climb after Curtis Sironen crossed early and Danny Levi added a second Manly try.
Although a response came from Kyle Feldt before half-time, the Sea Eagles set up a comfortable triumph with scores from Daly Cherry-Evans and Cade Cust prior to Francis Molo’s consolation.