Storm power past Panthers 66-14 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm power past Panthers 66-14

By John Salvado 02/07/2004 09:40:17 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne has taken advantage of a rare turn on the Friday night stage by announcing itself as a genuine NRL title contender with a thumping 66-14 win over Penrith at Olympic Park.

The Storm conceded the first 10 points of the night and then scored the next 66 to move into the top four with their biggest ever win over the Panthers, beating the 58-14 drubbing they handed out three years ago.

The home side had seven different try-scorers and behind much of its good work was the halves paring of Matt Orford and Scott Hill, who were once again overlooked by the NSW selectors for Wednesday's third and deciding State of Origin match.

The icing on the cake was Orford's 11 goals from 12 attempts as he became the first Storm player to pass the 600-point milestone.

After a nervous start when he dropped a bomb in the lead-up to Penrith's opening try, former Panther Steve Turner ran in three tries from fullback in a performance that lost nothing in comparison with regular custodian Billy Slater, who is in camp with Queensland.

The other multiple try-scorers were Matt King and Cooper Cronk with two apiece.

It all looked so different after 15 minutes when the visitors led 10-0 after tries from former Storm utility back Paul Whatuira and lock Trent Waterhouse.

The competition's leading tryscorer Amos Roberts converted Waterhouse's try to stun the home crowd at Melbourne's first Friday night home match in three years.

They needn't have worried.

King, last week's hat-trick hero, opened the scoring for Melbourne in the 19th minute after Panthers halfback Preston Campbell deflected an Orford pass into his hands.

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