BRISBANE - Cameron Smith became the highest point-scoring forward in the NRL but it was Cooper Cronk who shone brightest as Melbourne continued their stranglehold over Brisbane on Friday night.
Cronk scored a try and set up three others for the Storm in a top-shelf playmaking display to rack up a 30-8 victory at Suncorp Stadium — their seventh straight success over Brisbane.
The halfback's performance prompted league great Darren Lockyer to claim Cronk's broken arm in the State of Origin opener, forcing a six-week break, has been a blessing in disguise for Melbourne.
With six more games before the playoffs, the 30-year-old is fresh and at the top of his game to give Storm fans great hope of another premiership.
With the crucial win, Melbourne leapfrog Brisbane into sixth on the NRL table and in striking distance of a top-two shot.
Cronk compounded departing Broncos coach Anthony Griffin's week of woe with his man-of-the-match performance.