Melbourne’s Smith celebrates 300th NRL match with victory
SYDNEY (AP) — The Melbourne Storm celebrated captain Cameron Smith’s 300th National Rugby League match with a 52-10 home win over Penrith, ending a four-match losing streak.
Smith, who kicked six goals, became the first Storm player to reach the plateau in the 10-try romp over the Panthers. Halfback Cooper Cronk, winger Marika Koroibete and second rower Kevin Proctor each scored two tries.
It’s been a big 10 days for Smith, who led Queensland to a clinching 52-6 victory over New South Wales on July 8 in the third State of Origin match at Brisbane.
“We’ve been close in most of the games that we’ve been in in the last six weeks, but just haven’t quite got there, but we have turned the corner,” Smith said. “It just showed what we’re capable of doing and we shouldn’t need a milestone or a big occasion to do that.”
The Brisbane Broncos increased their first-place lead to four points when they beat the Wests Tigers 42-16. In the other match Sunday, the third-place Sydney Roosters beat the New Zealand Warriors 24-0.
The defending champion South Sydney Rabbitohs moved into fourth place with a 24-8 win over St. George Illawarra.
Elsewhere, a golden-point field goal by Valentine Holmes lifted Cronulla to a 21-20 victory over Canberra, the Sharks’ fifth win in six matches, and Frank Pritchard scored two tries as Canterbury beat Parramatta 28-4. Newcastle beat the Gold Coast Titans 30-2.
On Monday, the second-place North Queensland Cowboys play Manly to conclude the 19th round.