NRL 2022: Cameron Munster stars as Storm win 32-14 over Titans, Jahrome Hughes injured

Cameron Munster’s late switch to fullback proved a masterstroke for the Storm, but their premiership hopes have taken a hit with yet another star player injured.

Cameron Munster has produced a breathtaking display as Melbourne Storm marked a history-making night with a 32-14 win over gutsy cellar-dweller Gold Coast Titans at AAMI Park on Friday night.

The Storm’s Bromwich brothers, captain Jesse (290 games) and fellow forward Kenny (211), became the first pair of brothers in NRL history to combine for 500 games (501) with the one club.

Kenny produced a first half try to make it the perfect start to the night.

But it was hat-trick hero Munster who kickstarted the Storm surge with two first-half tries before adding a third in the second half on a night of brilliance.

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Cameron Munster’s switch to fullback proved a match winner, with a hat-trick to his name. Picture: Getty Images.
Cameron Munster’s switch to fullback proved a match winner, with a hat-trick to his name. Picture: Getty Images.

Returning to the full back position where he started his career, Munster was safe at the back, dazzled with the extra room to move to rack up 252 run metres and offered tremendous leadership with his voice.

Winger David Nofoaluma, loaned from the Wests Tigers, showed off his speed and elusiveness in an impressive first start with the Storm, while centre Young Tonumaipea scored a try in his first game for the Storm since 2018.

Hooker Harry Grant and five-eighth Cooper Johns were also influential for the Storm.

The Storm made a barnstorming start with three tries in the opening 22 minutes.

Xavier Coates, returning from a long term injury, scored one of the easier tries of his career after Grant flicked out a quick pass to find him unattended in the corner.

Munster rose into the night sky to catch, spin and make his way across the line, before Kenny Bromwich got his try burrowing under Titans defenders Phillip Sami and David Fifita.

There are concerns over the fitness of Jahrome Hughes, who went down with a shoulder injury and missed the second half against the Titans. Picture: Getty Images.
There are concerns over the fitness of Jahrome Hughes, who went down with a shoulder injury and missed the second half against the Titans. Picture: Getty Images.

HUGHES CLIPPED

While the Storm led by 12 at the half, there were some concerns for coach Craig Bellamy, including niggles to Jahrome Hughes, who copped a shoulder knock, and Coates, who came up holding an ankle.

Coates took his spot on the wing for the start of the second half, but Hughes’ subluxed shoulder ruled him out of the game.

The Titans refused to go away at the start of the second half.

Ever-present Brimson produced a skilful grubber kick to connect Brian Kelly with a try.

Unfortunately for the Titans, the deficit remained beyond a converted try after Boyd fluffed his conversion.

AARON’S AGONY

It took a while for the Titans to steady when hooker Aaron Booth succumbed to a knee injury.

The 26-year-old had to be helped off the ground by the trainers against his former club after his leg collapsed while attempting to tackle Johns.

Sam McIntyre took over the dummy half role and he combined well with halves Tanah Boyd and AJ Brimson, who had big roles to play in consecutive Titans tries to Beau Fermor and Herman Ese’ese.

Just when the Titans looked as though they were working their way back into the contest, they conceded a relatively soft try to Munster.

Johns found Munster with plenty of room to work into and he needed no second invitation to give the Storm a 22-10.

ON THE MUNNY

Munster made it a hat-trick of tries with 15 minutes to go to finally break the Titans spirit.

The Storm solidified their spot in the top four after making it eight consecutive wins and 12 out of the past 13 over the Titans.

Originally published as NRL 2022: Cameron Munster stars as Storm win 32-14 over Titans, Jahrome Hughes injured