The sensational urn of fortune that has been the experience of the New Zealand Warrior in the initial round of the Telstra 2018 NRL Premiership competition encountered a bit of a speedbump when the Melbourne Storm dominated the Warriors in an Anzac Day match.
It was a 50 – 10 thrashing dealt to the Warriors, who seemed to lack any fight whatsoever in their visit to Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, perhaps more properly referred to as AAMI Park, but we could not resist the allure of grounds named for geometric shapes.
Do not even get us started on Madison Square Garden, which is neither square nor a garden. The facility in Melbourne might need to have measurements taken to ensure that two of its boundary sides are indeed longer than the other two, with exact 90-degree corners, or we might have to take to calling it Melbourne Parallelogram Stadium.
At any rate, the Storm is looking to send the message that it is not quite ready to relinquish the premiership they won last year, and the hurt they put on the Warriors, who hold the number two spot on the ladder, was the exact sort of signal they needed to send.
The game could have been stopped after the first 23 minutes of the first half, as Bill Slater and his mates belted the Warriors.
Warriors’ player Blake Green summed it up succinctly when he left the field at halftime, saying, “We haven’t turned up.”
The Storm was missing Jesse Bromwich due to a knee injury; the outcome of the game suggests they were not missing him very much.
The Warriors found themselves in an 18 – 0 hole after the first 20 minutes and things continued to get worse from that point forward.
Melbourne produced five tries in the first 23 minutes, which had Fox Sports caller Warren Smith said, “Maybe they invoked the mercy rule.”
As the score ballooned to 38 – 0 at the half, it may have been the No Mercy Rule that was in effect.