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Cameron Smith brings up 400 as Storm thump Sharks

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13th July, 2019
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Melbourne have delivered a fitting celebration for skipper Cameron Smith’s 400-game milestone with a thumping 40-16 NRL win over Cronulla at AAMI Park.

The competition leaders survived a second-half stumble on Saturday night when the Sharks fought back to within two points before the Storm piled on a further four tries to secure victory.

It was sweet revenge as the Sharks were the last team to beat Melbourne in round eight.

The party started early, with a light show and tributes from former teammates Johnathan Thurston and Billy Slater, before Smith – wearing custom-made gold boots – ran on to the field.

Five-eighth Cameron Munster kept the crowd on their feet as he opened the scoring in the fourth minute when he ran onto Jahrome Hughes grubber into the in-goal.

The Sharks settled with winger Aaron Gray, part of a reshuffle after Matt Moylan’s withdrawal, scoring in the 11th minute via a sweeping backline move.

The remainder of the first half was all Storm as they took advantage of some sloppy Sharks handling and discipline to charge to an 18-4 lead.

Cronulla’s cause wasn’t helped with Josh Dugan limping off from fullback with a hamstring injury.

But Melbourne looked like they’d popped the cork too early, with the Sharks on the hunt early in the second stanza.

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Tries to Kurt Capewell and Shaun Johnson in four minutes pulled the visitors back to trail only 18-16 before Smith gathered his troops into a huddle.

His words hit home with Melbourne regrouping and crossing twice in four minutes – through Brodie Croft and Justin Olam – to skip away unchallenged and ensure Smith’s record night ended in style.

© AAP