World Club Challenge: Melbourne Storm 38, Leeds Rhinos 4
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Halfback Brodie Croft scored a try and set up five others as National Rugby League champion Melbourne Storm beat the Leeds Rhinos 38-4 in the World Club Challenge on Friday, handing a heavy defeat to the Super League champions from Britain.
Leeds took an early lead when winger Ryan Hall scored in the eighth minute, but Melbourne dominated the rest of the match.
Croft was given first crack at the No.7 jumper made vacant by veteran Cooper Cronk’s shift to the Sydney Roosters, and made the most of the opportunity.
The win was Melbourne’s third World Club Challenge title, also taking the championship in 2000 and 2013.
Melbourne star fullback Billy Slater didn’t return after halftime due to a jarred shoulder, although the club said it was a precautionary measure.