Storm start post-Slater era with victory over Broncos
Melbourne Storm's post-Billy Slater era started with a hard-fought 22-12 victory over the Brisbane Broncos in the season opener at AAMI Park on Thursday.
The Storm have had to rebuild for 2019 after Slater called time on his illustrious career following last season's Grand Final defeat to the Sydney Roosters.
Initially life without Slater looked comfortable for Melbourne as they opened up a 16-0 lead thanks to tries from Jahrome Hughes, Curtis Scott and Kenny Bromwich, with Cameron Smith adding two conversions.
However, two scores in quick succession from Corey Oates brought the Broncos – who lost James Roberts to injury after five minutes – within four points just after the hour mark.
Any momentum the Broncos had was quickly halted by the Storm, though, as Jesse Bromwich barged his way through four minutes after Oates' second try.
Smith added the extras to give the hosts a 10-point cushion, and although Broncos threatened the Storm line late on, they were unable to give coach Anthony Seibold victory in his first match at the helm.