Melbourne moves into 1st place in National Rugby League

Melbourne moves into 1st place in National Rugby League

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 2:02 p.m. ET

SYDNEY (AP) The Melbourne Storm moved into first place in the National Rugby League with an eight-try, 46-0 win over the Sydney Roosters on Saturday.

Leading 18-0 at halftime, winger Suliasi Vunivalu scored three tries and Cooper Cronk added two as the Storm won for the 11th time in 13 matches.

The Roosters lost their 10th match and are in 15th place among 16 teams.

The Storm moved two points ahead of the Cronulla Sharks, who will have a chance to pull level on competition points with the Storm when they play defending champion North Queensland on Monday.


Earlier, in another lopsided contest, winger David Fusitua scored four tries as the New Zealand Warriors overwhelmed last-place Newcastle 50-14, handing the Knights their eighth consecutive loss.

As many as four of the Warriors' nine tries came from repeat sets as halfback Shaun Johnson routinely kicked the ball into Knights defenders on the last tackle. And the ball always seemed to end up back in the Warriors' possession.

Warriors coach Andrew McFadden said it wasn't part of his team's game plan.

''When you're competing hard, you make your luck, ''McFadden said. ''The bounce of the ball sometimes goes with you and sometimes goes against you, and we've probably been getting a bit of luck lately.''

Knights coach Nathan Brown said those 50-50 plays were the difference.

''It's been that kind of time for us,'' Brown said. ''Two of their first few tries were ricochets that landed back in their arms. Then we drop the one when we could have got over the line. They are the things that we don't handle very well at the minute.''

In other matches, Parramatta beat the Gold Coast Titans 22-12, and the Wests Tigers defeated South Sydney 30-14.

Darius Boyd scored three tries as Brisbane beat Canberra 26-18, breaking a three-game losing streak and ending the Raiders' three-game winning streak.

In the only match on Sunday, Manly plays Penrith. In another match on Monday, St. George Illawarra plays Canterbury to conclude the 14th round.