NRL 2019: Melbourne Storm remain unbeaten after crushing Penrith Panthers

Melbourne have made it three-straight wins to start their NRL campaign, producing a near-perfect defensive effort in their 32-2 rout of Penrith.

With the temperature almost dropping to zero in Bathurst, the Storm froze the Panthers out early by keeping their line intact.   

Uncharacteristic errors gave the home side 30 looks at the try-line inside the opening 30 minutes and, each time, Melbourne turned them away.   

In a worrying sign for NSW State of Origin coach Brad Fittler, Panthers halves James Maloney and Nathan Cleary looked devoid of ideas in attack.   

In contrast, Storm and Queensland Origin star Cameron Munster scored a try and played a hand in two others in a match-winning performance.   

Skipper Cameron Smith kicked a perfect six goals from as many attempts.   

A torrential pre-game downpour made conditions greasy however, that didn't stop the Storm taking their chances when presented.   

Munster dubiously opened the scoring when Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Dylan Edwards failed to defuse his grubber.   

Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr appeared to have nudged Watene-Zelezniak in the build-up, but the bunker overlooked the incident and awarded the try.   

The Panthers weren't without their chances to respond, but couldn't find a way through a seemingly impenetrable defence.   

In contrast, the Storm didn't get their first crack inside the Panthers' red zone until the 31st minute but still took a six-point halftime lead with a Smith penalty goal.   

Craig Bellamy's men cranked up in the second half, beginning with a Brodie Croft try that came from a Munster bomb fluffed by Edwards.   

Panthers fullback Edwards finished the match with six errors.

Addo-Carr, Marion Seve and Jesse Bromwich completed the rout with tries in the final 30 minutes, as the Storm moved provisionally to the top of the ladder.