Slater grabs four as Storm smash Manly - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Slater grabs four as Storm smash Manly

By Guy Hand 11/09/2009 09:46:50 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne fullback Billy Slater mesmerised Manly with a four-try haul to launch the Storm into the next stage of the NRL finals with a 40-12 win at Etihad Stadium.

Slater lit up Friday night's qualifying final to leave the premiers sweating on the results of this weekend's remaining finals to see whether they will continue into week two.

Manly's night of misery was compounded with what appeared another injury to five-eighth Jamie Lyon, who started the match despite a shoulder problem but failed to complete the first half.

He came back in the second half briefly, but eventually returned to the dressing rooms once the match was out of reach for his side with half an hour remaining.

The Storm now have a passage to week two with a home semi-final after they avenged their heavy grand final defeat to Manly last year in ominous fashion.

Manly went in following a difficult preparation, losing forward Glenn Hall prior to kick-off following the stillbirth of his first child on Thursday night.

They also had prop Brent Kite helped from the field inside the first five minutes following a heavy head clash with Melbourne's Aiden Tolman, though he returned later.

Just prior to losing Kite, Slater posted his first try - centre Greg Inglis standing among three tacklers and unloading for the fullback to touch down.

As Lyon went off injured, Melbourne ramped things up further with tries to winger Dane Nielsen and Slater again, who stepped around Manly halfback Matt Orford to push his side to a 16-0 lead.

The Storm sealed certain victory just four minutes after halftime - predictably with some Slater magic as he dived and gathered a bouncing Cameron Smith kick to touch down again.

Further tries to Smith and Tolman and a brilliant Slater solo try with three minutes remaining in which he danced around three defenders, completed the rout.

Manly's Steve Matai and Kieran Foran managed consolation tries inside the final 12 minutes to add some respectability to the scoreline.

Smith praised Slater's performance, but predicted his side would need to build on their efforts if they wanted to push for their second premiership in three years.

"We started really well but that's one week down and we're going to have to improve if we want to go any further," Smith said.

Storm interchange player Ryan Tandy was put on report for a second half high tackle on Manly's Anthony Watmough.

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