Storm overpower Gold Coast 42-6 in NRL

Laine Clark
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NRL STORM TITANS

Josh Addo-Carr scored twice as the Melbourne Storm thrashed the Titans 42-6 on the Sunshine Coast

Home is where the heart is for Melbourne.

Cameron Munster's impressive return from injury has helped the Storm officially get themselves settled on the Sunshine Coast, thumping Gold Coast Titans 42-6 in Friday's NRL clash.

Melbourne relocated to Queensland three weeks ago and are resigned to playing out the season away from Victoria as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state.

But the Storm are showing no signs of homesickness, piling on 24 unanswered second-half points to celebrate their first game at their new base at Sunshine Coast Stadium with a fifth straight victory.

Melbourne could have been forgiven for showing a touch of complacency against the second-last Titans after knocking over last year's grand finalists Sydney Roosters and Canberra in consecutive weeks.

But the Storm convincingly notched their 12th straight win in Queensland as Munster made a decisive comeback from a two-week layoff with a knee injury.

The playmaker scored one try and set up another, combining brilliantly with wily captain Cameron Smith.

The experienced hooker notched career win No.301 after setting up three tries to take his season tally to nine and ensure Melbourne have not lost to a bottom-four team since late 2015.

"I don't think he surprises too many people because he does it so often," Storm coach Craig Bellamy said of Munster's stunning return.

"He's probably one of the most laid back off the field but on the field he's a competitor and a tough kid - it's great to have him back."

After leading 18-6 at the break, Melbourne piled on four second-half tries, with giant bench forward Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Josh Addo-Carr both sealing doubles.

Melbourne made the Titans pay for a staggering nine errors in the first period to grab the 12-point halftime buffer.

Gold Coast only got on the board thanks to a contentious 27th-minute try by centre Brian Kelly, who pounced on an Ash Taylor kick after pushing Storm winger Paul Momirovski in the back.

Momirovski copped the shove with the ball midair as he was trying to regather but Kelly was given the green light with the bunker ruling "juggling the ball he is entitled to be tackled".

"I know it's a rule but that's crazy - surely he can't be shoved in the back," former NRL premiership winner Michael Ennis told Fox League.

"I don't like the look of it. You saw the reaction from (Storm coach) Craig Bellamy, which was disbelief.

"The officials didn't get it wrong but it needs to be addressed - it is bizarre."

Meanwhile, Titans halfback Jamal Fogarty came off with a suspected knee injury in the final five minutes.

"We just got outclassed right across the field. We were blown off the park in the second half - they put on a clinic in the end," Titans coach Justin Holbrook said.