Storm pluck the Roosters in huge NRL win

·3-min read

The NRL's lopsided season has continued with Melbourne putting the cleaners through the Sydney Roosters 46-0 in Newcastle.

Just days after being installed as the new premiership favourites ahead of Penrith, the Storm chalked up their 13th-straight win to move two points clear at the top of the ladder.

Winger Josh Addo-Carr bagged a hat-trick of tries to lead the race for the Ken Irvine Medal with 17th, 18th and 19th of the year, while Nicho Hynes also starred.

Thursday night's flogging marked the latest in a long run of one-sided contests for Melbourne, with all bar one of the wins in their current streak by 16 points or more.

The issue for the NRL, however, is that this was by no means a heavyweight against a lightweight, with the Roosters only four spots below the Storm and still fifth.

The Roosters were barely in the contest after Addo-Carr scored his first when he chased down an early Cameron Munster kick from inside his own half in the sixth minute.

Trent Robinson's men then bombed two chances from scrums at 8-0 down, before it was then all one-way traffic for the Storm.

For all the criticism of the disparity in the competition, the Roosters do have genuine concerns.

They are now 0-5 against other top-five teams this year, with their injury woes starting to take their toll.

The 30-0 half-time deficit marked their worst opening 40 minutes in 20 years, while they have conceded 84 straight points in their past two games against frontrunners Penrith and Melbourne.

But Robinson insisted it doesn't mean the Roosters can't recover to challenge.

"The competition's not over," he said.

"I should be saying something different but you have to believe in yourself, you have to believe in the ability to change things in your favour and we will.

"You always believe in yourself. No one can ask us to stop believing in ourselves."

The round 14 drubbing was the first time the Roosters have been held scoreless since the Storm beat them by the same score in 2016.

The Roosters' problems could be accentuated after forward Daniel Suluka-Fifita was sin-binned for a late and high shot in the second half on Munster.

But Melbourne hardly needed a one-man advantage.

Forwards Kenny Bromwich and Dale Finucane both bagged tries in the win while Munster and hooker Brandon Smith also crossed.

Addo-Carr was the beneficiary of nice lead-up play by Justin Olam and then Hynes for his second and third tries.

The pick of the four-pointers came from Hynes, when he sprinted onto an awkward Lachlan Lam kick and went 70 metres untouched to score.

The latest big win made Melbourne the first team in premiership history to score at least 40 points in 10 separate games in a season, while they remain on track to better Parramatta's record of 32.3 points per game in 2001.

"It wasn't easy tonight," Storm coach Craig Bellamy insisted.

"We didn't start so well and we knew that the Rooters weren't going to go away."

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