Infotainment Factory: Fijian flyer's hat-trick devastates Raiders

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Friday, 22 March 2019

Fijian flyer's hat-trick devastates Raiders


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A first-half hat-trick within thirty minutes from Melbourne winger Suliasi Vunivalu has proved an insurmountable lead for the Raiders who went down 22-10 at GIO Stadium on Friday night.

The Fijian flyer was in scintillating form, bagging his first try within eight minutes and never looking back as he steamed past club great Steven Bell(63) to become the outright seventh highest try scorer in the Storm’s history, with 64.

The 23-year-old ‘s performance capped off an almost faultless night for Craig Bellamy’s men who overwhelmed their opponents on every inch of the park.

Ball movement under the skilful hand young gun Brodie Croft saw the half in with a handful of assists while the omnipresent kicking games of Cameron Munster and Cameron Smith saw the Raiders under the thumb for the entire opening period.

Suliasi Vunivalu

It took until the 50th minute for the Raiders to come alive through the individual brilliance of Jarrod Croker who sidestepped his way through the line to get his side on the scoreboard.

After keeping Gold Coast scoreless in their round one win, Canberra had no answers to the force of the Storm, who look as fearsome as ever despite the retirements of stars Billy Slater and Ryan Hoffman.

Melbourne grabbed a 14-0 halftime lead and skipper Cameron Smith extended that buffer with a penalty goal early in the second half.

But the Green Machine were able to work their way into the contest, with a special try in the 50th minute to captain Jarrod Croker giving Raiders fans some hope.

Suliasi Vunivalu

But some rusty play in attack, combined with typical gritty Storm defending, snuffed out any raised expectations from the home side.

Melbourne prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona all but closed the door on a Raiders comeback when he barged over for his team's fourth try in the 60th minute.

Croker grabbed a consolation try with 10 minutes remaining for a double to continue his impressive return to the team after a serious knee injury at the end of last season.

The surprise early return of winger Jordan Rapana following a shoulder reconstruction was a major positive for Canberra.

A first-half hat-trick within thirty minutes from Melbourne winger Suliasi Vunivalu has proved an insurmountable lead for the Raiders who went down 22-10 at GIO Stadium on Friday night.

The Fijian flyer was in scintillating form, bagging his first try within eight minutes and never looking back as he steamed past club great Steven Bell(63) to become the outright seventh highest try scorer in the Storm’s history, with 64.

The 23-year-old ‘s performance capped off an almost faultless night for Craig Bellamy’s men who overwhelmed their opponents on every inch of the park.

Ball movement under the skilful hand young gun Brodie Croft saw the half in with a handful of assists while the omnipresent kicking games of Cameron Munster and Cameron Smith saw the Raiders under the thumb for the entire opening period.

Suliasi Vunivalu

It took until the 50th minute for the Raiders to come alive through the individual brilliance of Jarrod Croker who sidestepped his way through the line to get his side on the scoreboard.

After keeping Gold Coast scoreless in their round one win, Canberra had no answers to the force of the Storm, who look as fearsome as ever despite the retirements of stars Billy Slater and Ryan Hoffman.

Melbourne grabbed a 14-0 halftime lead and skipper Cameron Smith extended that buffer with a penalty goal early in the second half.

But the Green Machine were able to work their way into the contest, with a special try in the 50th minute to captain Jarrod Croker giving Raiders fans some hope.

Suliasi Vunivalu

But some rusty play in attack, combined with typical gritty Storm defending, snuffed out any raised expectations from the home side.

Melbourne prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona all but closed the door on a Raiders comeback when he barged over for his team's fourth try in the 60th minute.

Croker grabbed a consolation try with 10 minutes remaining for a double to continue his impressive return to the team after a serious knee injury at the end of last season.

The surprise early return of winger Jordan Rapana following a shoulder reconstruction was a major positive for Canberra.

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