Dogs run out massive winners as they put the Storm to the sword.
The Canterbury Bulldogs have earned their second win of the NRL season after thrashing the Melbourne Storm by 28 points in Perth.
After a sluggish first 20 minutes in wet conditions, the Dogs clicked into gear as their completion rate and execution in attack clicked into gear.
And with excellent contributions from their interchange bench, Des Hasler’s men made the Storm pay for any small mistake as they won 40-12 at nib Stadium.
The Storm suffered a blow just before kick-off when captain and star hooker Cameron Smith was ruled out of action with back spasams.
But it did not stop Billy Slater opening the scoring in the West, as he sliced through thanks to some good lead-up work from Cooper Cronk.
The weather continued to lash the ground as the Dogs started in a sloppy fashion, gifting Melboure plenty of ball early.
And it was one of those turnovers that led to their second try as Will Chambers raced through the line, thanks in large part to a defenvive breakdown as the score became 10-0 thanks to a low
conversion from Tohu Harris.
Canterbury only got its first real chance to score after 23 minutes when they set up camp inside the Storm 20 metre zone thanks to back-to-back penalties, and it was Trent Hodgkinson
who captalised, as he showed sensational strength to get through two would-be tacklers to cut the margin to four.
Sisa Waqa was placed on report in the 28th minute for the Storm, and the news went from bad to worse for the Melbourne.
After earning space from a second-man play, the Dogs found space out wide with Josh Morris
showing great strength to carry Waqa over the line as they grabbed a two-point lead thanks to the sideline conversion.
James Graham was taken to the changerooms as he recieved treatment for a headknock that continued to plague him despite returning to the field while Frank Pritchard picked up an ankle strain in the torrid affair.
Melbourne continued their undisicplined start to the season, as they gave awya six straight penalties to see them under pressure in the lead-up to the half-time break, however, they managed to hang on to trail 12-10.
Harris made the scores level again after Michael Ennis gave away a silly pealty for blocking a chaser for a kick, as they drew level at 12-all.
Canterbury hit back through David Klemmer after he was the recipient of a good tap-back from Josh Ryenolds, with the backrower crashing over next to the uprights to make the score
The Dogs continued to push towards an important win as Tim Lafai made a good break dow the right edge before finding Josh Jackson backing up on the insde, with the interchange player scring his seventh try for his career.
Hodgkinson made it four conversions from as many attempts as the margin, in tough conditons, blew out to 12 points with 27 minutes left.
Jackson scored his second for the game when he pounced on a loose balll resulting from a cross-field bomb, as the video referee looked at lead-up to the try extensively.
And after a multitude of replays the video referee could not give the green light, and the Storm survived having, possibly, a match-winning try scored against them.
However, there was no doubt about the next try for the Dogs just seconds later, with Graham putting off worries of a concussion as he bashed he way across the line next to the upright for his third try of the game.
But the English prop camme off straight away after the incident, as questions about a possible concussion continued to be surfaced, as the Dogs forward continued on play on despute seemingly being rattled by an attemtped tackle against Jesse Bromwich.
In spite of this, Canterbury jumped out to a healthy lead of 30-12 with jst 18 minutes remaining for the Storm to get back into the contest which was slipping out of their grasp.
The dagger to the Storm’s chances came in the form of a clever chip-kick from Reynolds which acted more like a pass to Chase Stanley as the score blew out to 36-12.
Lafai capped a sensational game for the Dogs, as the rampaging centre left a trail of Storm defenders in his wake to slam the ball down.