Main man Munster returns to help Storm tame Tigers

The return of superstar playmaker Cameron Munster sparked the Storm to a 24-12 win over Wests Tigers at AAMI Park on Friday night.

After shock losses to the Bulldogs and Titans in Munster's absence, Craig Bellamy's men got back on track with a disciplined first half that laid the platform for their first home win since Round 21 last year. 

An offside penalty against the Tigers gave Melbourne the chance to open the scoring in the sixth minute through a Nick Meaney penalty goal.

On the back of a six-again call the Storm worked their way downfield and a couple of handy offloads by Josh King and Jonah Pezet opened the door for Will Warbrick to cross for his first NRL try in the 19th minute.

Pezet again showed his class five minutes later when he found Eliesa Katoa with a superb offload and the back-rower found Meaney looming in support for the Storm's second try.

The Tigers hit back on the half hour mark when Englishman John Bateman powered his way past a couple of defenders and fed Isaiah Papali'i who put Asu Kepaoa over in the left hand corner. Adam Doueihi's sideline conversion made it 12-6.

In his first game back from the finger injury he suffered in Round 1, Munster then launched a pinpoint bomb, winger Xavier Coates flew high to contest the ball and it fell to Justin Olam to cross for his first try of the season.

Munster then jumped into dummy half in the 39th minute and bamboozled the Tigers defence from 10 metres out as the Storm took a 22-6 lead to the break.

After digging deep to defend their line early in the second half the Tigers finally got some field position in the 55th minute and Api Koroisau grubbered into the in-goal and touched down for a try after Meaney had shown a lack of urgency to clean it up. Doueihi converted for 22-12.

The Tigers threatened to close the gap even further as Bateman and Koroisau took charge but a poor kick by Brandon Wakeham on the final play and a scrum lost on their own feed took the wind out of their sails.

A penalty against Papali'i for a late tackle handed Meaney the chance to slot two more points in the 66th minute and the Storm led 24-12.

Try as they might the Tigers were unable to crack the line again as they slumped to a fourth consecutive loss to open the season.

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Story first published by:

Martin Lenehan - NRL Senior Journalist