Melbourne’s stuttering attack turned full throttle as they blew the Warriors off the park 42-0 in their Anzac Day blockbuster.
After a sombre tribute with the lights turned off at AAMI Park, the Storm lit it up with eight tries to jump from sixth into third on the NRL ladder.
Despite five wins heading into the match, Melbourne had lamented their inability to find their tryline but they had no such trouble in their best performance of the year.
The home side got across the white stripe eight times in the opening half, although three were denied by the bunker.
They were racing the clock early on, scoring 16 points in 17 minutes with the Warriors’ defence plain woeful.
Melbourne forwards did all the early damage, dominating their rivals, and were rewarded with Tohu Harris, Tim Glasby and Jesse Bromwich all tryscorers.
In his second NRL match after a double on debut, Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu looked to have scored twice in the first half but hit pay dirt with two tries late in the match.
After the embarrassing opening stanza the Warriors looked a different team in the second half.
They still weren’t in the same class as Melbourne but at least mounted a defence against the relentless attack.
However after coming close to scoring twice it was the home side who was in again, with Cooper Cronk crossing in the corner.
Compounding the misery for the Warriors, they lost Tuimoala Lolohea, who had replaced injured fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, late in the first half with a leg injury and he failed to return.
Coach Andrew McFadden said post-match it appeared Lolohea had a medial strain while lock Simon Mannering had a badly cut face.
An angry McFadden said his side was physically dominated and failed to rise to the occasion.
“It was unacceptable … we never really got ourselves into the game at any stage,” he said.
“You’ve got to turn up and we didn’t and it’s hard to win any football games when you’re not prepared to roll your sleeves up.”
Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith said his team’s attack was finally “in-sync”.
“It’s been threatening for a while now and we’ve worked extremely hard at training to improve our attack,” Smith said.
“For some reason it hasn’t transferred to the game but tonight it was really nice for everyone to be in right position and everyone was on the same page.
“When we do get it right we’re a very, very good footy side.”