Melbourne fend off fiery Dolphins in top four contest full of class and crazy four-pointers

It was the Jahrome Hughes show at Suncorp as the free-running No.7 led Melbourne to a 30-22 win over the Dolphins – who went down fighting in a thrilling points fest

Hughes pulled strings left, right and centre, scoring a try before half-time and setting up two more to assert his dominance as half with all the tricks up his sleeve.

Tevita Pangai-Junior stamped his name back into the NRL, wasting no time in starting a biff from a huge shot on Trent Loiero.

Jahrome Hughes takes on the line. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Hughes brought out the best in attack from his backline counterparts – with Melbourne flourishing from the return of Ryan Papenhuyzen and aerial wonder Will Warbrick.

Pocket rocket Tyran Wishart yet again grew in confidence – proving a handful all night for the Dolphins.

Tries a plenty in Brisbane

Fans at Suncorp Stadium were treated to a plethora of fast and slick tries from both outfits, which was a true contest between first and fourth.

Ryan Papenhuyzen was the first recipient of a breakaway bust from Grant Anderson and rookie Jack Howarth – linking up with the duo from a 70m foot race to barge over the line.

Euan Aitken was the second to cross for the Dolphins, handed the pill after a hot potato chain which started from a Herbie Farnworth contest.

Aitken was shifted to left centre after Jack Bostock went down in the first five minutes. Bostock was knocked out cold when trying to take down Warbrick – his head slamming into the turf.

Trai Fuller was next up, weaving his way through an at times lost Melbourne right edge – showing Wayne Bennett he is no standby fullback.

Jahrome Hughes then received a four-pointer off the back of his creative flair – cross-kicking to Warbrick who was the beneficiary of a lucky bounce, to then get an arm free and find the kicker on his inside.

Warbrick then used his leaping ability to clamp both hands on the pill from a Hughes kick, while Josh King strolled over untouched from a classy short-ball.

Isaako then put on the burners, flying high off his wing to intercept a last play cross-kick, darting away to score despite a crazy chase rom Papenhuyzen.

Storm rookie and back-up No.1 wow

Five-game rookie Jack Howarth is no bludger. Howarth showed he has a big future in the NRL after putting in a terrific 80 minute performance.

Usually a backrower, the 21-year-old illustrated his speed and power on Melbourne’s left edge, linking up with Grant Anderson and Papenhuyzen to provide the Storms first points.

Coach Bellamy has given Howarth plenty of time to develop and mature. He has been around the Storm since 2022 and recently signed an extension to remain at Melbourne until 2027.

The gun charged for 143 run metres and made 17 tackles – proving a great point of difference for Melbourne’s attack.

Trai Fuller can longer be the Dolphins back-up No.1

The 27-year-old is a quick shifter and simply way too talented to be playing NSW cup week in week out.

Fuller was just shy of 200 run metres and broke six tackles throughout the night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.