24 March, 2018, 12:00 am
Even a two-try haul by North Queensland bulldozer Coen Hess wasn’t enough to stop Melbourne Storm from again silencing the Cowboys 30-14 in their grand final rematch on Thursday night at AAMI Park.
It wasn’t as savage a defeat as Storm’s 34-6 margin to claim the 2017 Telstra premiership five months ago, but it was enough to put Storm back in the winners’ list after dropping a game to Wests Tigers a week ago.
It was often ugly and riddled with errors – referee Matt Cecchin blew 20 penalties – but the Storm eventually overpowered the Paul Green-coached Cowboys in the final 20 minutes, scoring four-tries-to-two.
Storm contained the Cowboys’ star halves pairing of Johnathan Thurston and Michael Morgan, who were playing their first regular competition game together after Morgan missed the opening two rounds through injury.