Melbourne Storm booked a place in the NRL Grand Final for the fourth time in five years with a resounding 30-10 victory over Canberra Raiders on Friday.
A three-try blitz inside the opening 10 minutes put the Storm en route to a showdown with Penrith Panthers or South Sydney Rabbitohs, as the Raiders missed out on an immediate return to the showpiece following their 2019 defeat to the Sydney Roosters.
Jesse Bromwich powered in for the first score of the game for Craig Bellamy’s side, and Ryan Papenhuyzen followed it up by finishing off a wonderful team move ahead of an excellent solo effort from Suliasi Vunivalu.
Cameron Smith, who is expected to retire following his Grand Final outing next weekend, added a penalty before converting Justin Olam’s try, which was scored after Nick Cotric failed to bat Papenhuyzen’s grubber out of the in-goal area, to put the Storm 24-0 up after 25 minutes.
Cotric got the Raiders on the board before half-time but they were unable to significantly build on that and Dale Finucane marked his 200th NRL appearance by effectively ending the contest when he span over after the hour mark.
Smith produced an excellent tackle to stop Cotric short of the try line, but the Canberra wing doubled his tally with eight minutes remaining, yet there was no hope of keeping their season alive.
— NRL (@NRL) October 16, 2020