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Storm lead Sharks 28-0 at halftime in NRL

Cameron Smith is on track to ease his State of Origin disappointment with a win in his 250th NRL match with the Melbourne Storm leading Cronulla 28-0 at halftime at AAMI Park.
Storm lead Sharks 28-0 at halftime in NRL
by AAP

MELBOURNE, June 9 AAP - Cameron Smith is on track to ease his State of Origin disappointment with a win in his 250th NRL match with the Melbourne Storm leading Cronulla 28-0 at halftime at AAMI Park.

Smith's Queensland side was beaten in the opening Origin encounter in Sydney on Wednesday but the Storm are doing their best to ensure his week ends on a brighter note.

The home side had five tries by the halftime break, pummeling the hapless Sharks.

The Storm's four Origin players showed no signs of hangover from the big game, while the Sharks also had Luke Lewis and Andrew Fifita backing up.

Their NSW captain Paul Gallen was rubbed out of the game after punching Queensland's Nate Myles. Melbourne's Maroons halfback Cooper Cronk, who didn't have the happiest of kicking games in Origin, was back to his best.

Early in the match he nailed a 40:20, which was actually so good it was a 30:10.

On the back of that the Storm sent the ball sweeping to the left with five-eighth Gareth Widdop finding Maurice Blair with the centre touching down in the ninth minute.

The Storm, who are third on the NRL ladder, continued to pressure the Sharks and force errors while Cronulla's own kicking game was aimless.

After fullback Michael Gordon spilt a floating Cronk bomb the home side was in again, with NSW backrower Ryan Hoffman busting straight through some flimsy defence.

Their third came after Sharks winger Sosaia Feki dropped another Cronk bomb in-goal and it bounced back into the field of play and was scooped up by Kevin Proctor.

Cronk continued to work his magic, and had a bit of luck, when another kick rebounded off Wade Graham and the Storm No.7 was able to flick it off the ground to a charging Tohu Harris.

They closed the half with Widdop touching down, after a break by fullback Billy Slater.

AAP mw/gc


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