NRL 2019: Melbourne Storm beat Brisbane Broncos in season opener

New Zealand internationals Kenny and Jesse Bromwich each scored a try, as the Melbourne Storm beat the Brisbane Broncos 22-12 in the NRL season opener.

The Broncos were no match for the outstanding Storm, who ferociously defended their outstanding first-round winning streak, dating back to 2001. 

Heading into the match, the Storm hadn't lost in the opening round in the 16 years coach Craig Bellamy had been at the helm and in the first half, that looked likely to stretch to another year, with the Broncos disappointing.

But two tries to Brisbane winger Corey Oates within two minutes midway through the second stanza turned the game on its head and it appeared they could snatch a win in their first match under new coach Anthony Seibold.

Oates' second effort couldn't have been simpler, with Melbourne prop Jesse Bromwich attempting an unlikely offload and throwing the ball straight into his arms for him to scamper through to close the lead to four points.

But six minutes later, Bromwich was back in the good books, with a barnstorming run from 15 metres out to score his team's fourth try of the night and from there, they weren't troubled.   

Kenny Bromwich.
Kenny Bromwich. Photo credit: AAP

His try came 20 minutes after younger brother Kenny scored Melbourne's third. The last time the siblings both scored in a match was against Parramatta in 2013.

"I thought it was a very high-quality game for round one," Bellamy said. "I was really happy with the way our guys played."         

The first of their tries was scored by Wellington-born fullback Jahrome Hughes, who impressed in his first outing as the replacement for retired superstar Billy Slater.    

Oates got past him for both of his tries, but Hughes still looked the part, with Bellamy declaring him the best player in his team.

Hughes' try came in the third minute, not long after Brisbane were penalised, when prop Matt Lodge laid out Storm playmaker Cameron Munster after he kicked.

Lodge could find himself in trouble with the NRL match review panel, with the hit appearing to come late.            

Just after the restart, Brisbane lost centre James Roberts, who clutched at his back, as he was assisted to the change-rooms.               

Munster was one of Melbourne's best, with his kicking game effective, compared to Broncos halves Kodi Nikorima and Anthony Milford.            

Brisbane will be buoyed by the return of Matt Gillett, who topped their tackle count with 50 in his new position as lock in his first NRL game back, since fracturing his neck in round five last year.

"The first 20 minutes definitely hurt us," Seibold said. "We showed a lot of resilience and grit, and I felt that was a benchmark for effort to get ourselves back in the game.      

"Where we needed to be better tonight was the details."           

AAP 

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