In 11 stunning minutes on Good Friday, Ryan Papenhuyzen showed once again that he may be the most exciting player in the NRL.
The Melbourne Storm full-back scored four tries, equalling the club record, as his club went from 6-0 down to being 24-6 ahead at half-time en route to a 40-6 win in front of 14,135 people at AAMI Park.
Ryan Papenhuyzen scores one of his four first-half tries.Credit:NRL Photos
All it took was a break from Josh Addo-Carr down the left attacking wing on 25 minutes to shake the Storm into action as Addo-Carr passed inside to Papenhuyzen for his first score under the posts.
It felt like regular service had resumed but no one could have guessed Papenhuyzen was about to break the contest wide open.
On 29 minutes Justin Olam broke through three Broncos tacklers at centre-field and headed for the try line before perfectly timing an off-load to Papenhuyzen for his second try.
In the 34th minute, Papenhuyzen did it all himself beating four tacklers to bolt 10 metres to the try line for his hat-trick.
Cameron Munster celebrates a try with Kenny Bromwich and Ryan Papenhuyzen.Credit:Getty Images
Then two minutes later Jahrome Hughes deceived the Broncos to run through and then pass inside to Papenhuyen, who sprinted to the line for his fourth try in 11 minutes.
The only Bronco to get hold of Papenhuyzen was reserve forward Thomas Flegler, who held the full-back in a headlock seconds before half-time, sparking a brief melee as the Storm protected their mate.
Papenhuyzen had AAMI Park roaring again to start the second half after throwing what appeared to be an inch-perfect cut-out pass to Addo-Carr who scored a try.
But that pass was called forward. It was a tight decision, and ruled out the score.
On the hour, the Broncos defence allowed a Storm kick to bounce and second-rower Tom Eisenhuth ran onto the ball and passed to winger George Jennings for a try.
Papenhuyzen couldn’t stay out of the action, setting up Jennings for his brace with 15 minutes to play.
Papenhuyzen almost brought the house down with a specular leap for a Hughes bomb on the try line with 13 minutes to play but he spilled the ball just inches from the ground.
With all eyes on Papenhuyzen, Cameron Munster twice soccered the rolling ball over the try line before touching it down to cap off the win.
Papenhuyzen gave up the kicking duties in the final minute, allowing Addo-Carr, in his 100th Storm game, to kick his first NRL goal.
The Storm and sponsors raised $120,000 for the Good Friday Appeal.
The Storm play Canterbury Bulldogs at Stadium Australia next Saturday at 5.30pm.
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