Storm respond by beating Cowboys

Melbourne Storm responded to their shock NRL defeat to Wests Tigers by beating North Queensland Cowboys 30-14 at AAMI Park on Thursday.

The Tigers halted Melbourne's 12-match winning run in Billy Slater's 300th NRL game last Saturday, but normal service resumed five days later.

Craig Bellamy's men outscored the Cowboys by four tries to two, containing Michael Morgan and Johnathan Thurston in a stop-start encounter, with referee Matt Cecchin blowing up for 20 penalties.

Cameron Smith and Thurston slotted over a penalty apiece before Joe Stimson spun sharply to touch down for the opening try and Christian Welch powered his way over after Coen Hess burst through for the Cowboys' first four-pointer.

The champions were 18-8 up at the break, but Hess squeezed through a gap to help himself to a double 15 minutes into the second half, Thurston converting to make it a four-point game.

Melbourne finished strongly to stretch their winning streak over North Queensland to seven matches, Smith on target with a second penalty before Will Chambers and Nelson Asofa-Solomona crossed late on.

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