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Storm romp to record NRL win over Broncos

NZN 1/07/2016 Laine Clark

A head knock forced Brisbane's Queensland winger Corey Oates off the field but Wayne Bennett might be nursing the biggest headache after the Broncos' record 48-6 NRL loss to Melbourne at Suncorp Stadium.

Only days out from Queensland's State of Origin III team being named, Oates lasted barely 20 minutes in Friday night's Storm try-scoring blitz which included a Suliasi Vunivalu hat-trick.

Centre Cheyse Blair bagged a double as Melbourne inflicted Brisbane's biggest home loss in front of 44,519 fans.

Oates came off second best with try-bound centre Ryan Morgan in the 18th minute and was soon escorted from the field in a concern for Queensland selectors.

They name their Origin III team on Monday.

However, Bennett might have the biggest worry with an injury-hit Brisbane suffering their sixth loss in eight games.

Oates joined a Broncos injury list that already boasted Jordan Kahu, Jack Reed, Greg Eden and Tom Opacic.

Then there is their defence.

Brisbane have conceded 88 points in their past two games.

Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk inspired the Storm's 10th win from 11 games in Brisbane, setting up five of their eight tries.

Fijian flyer Vunivalu took his league-leading try tally to 16 from just 10 games.

Melbourne have won 10 of their past 11 games against Brisbane including six straight at Suncorp.

Somehow it could have been worse for Brisbane.

Damaging fullback Cameron Munster failed to overcome an ankle complaint but Blake Green returned to pivot after missing three weeks with a calf injury.

Melbourne led 30-6 at halftime albeit after a slice of luck.

Replays showed Vunivalu appeared offside and impeded Kori Nikorima before pouncing on a Cronk kick in the 22nd minute.

Five minutes later, officials missed Marika Koroibete's foot on the sideline in the build-up to Cheyse Blair's try.

Brisbane's Kodi Nikorima dislocated his shoulder in the first half but played on as he tried to patch up a reshuffled backline.

The diminutive bench utility was slotted first onto the wing and then at fullback but could not stop Melbourne taking full advantage of Oates' absence, terrorising Brisbane's left edge.

"They (Storm) were very good. That's all I can say but we knew that," Bennett said.

"We got the injury and they exploited that - there wasn't much we could do to fix it."

Bennett played down Origin fears for Oates.

"He's conscious now. He's fine. He will be right in 10 days' time or so (for Origin III on July 13)," he said.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy was just as surprised as anyone by the scoreline.

"I don't think anyone saw that coming. It's a bit surreal," he said.

"But Brisbane have too many quality players and too good a culture not to bounce back."

Bellamy said the prognosis did not look good for forward Jordan McLean (ankle) who lasted 25 minutes on Friday night.

He expected Munster to return to action in their next match against Newcastle on July 17 after a bye.

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