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Storm defeat 12-man Dragons outfit in NRL

Nicho Hynes’ stocks rose again as Melbourne overcame a slow start to beat a 12-man George Illawarra after Tyrell Fuimaono was sent off for a late, high shot on Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen.

Josh Addo-Carr’s hat-trick made it nine tries in two weeks for the Storm winger, while the off-contract Hynes shone at five-eighth and Dragons winger Mikaele Ravalawa also crossed three times.

Papenhuyzen’s return from a shoulder injury lasted just 12 minutes, clipped by the Dragons centre’s swinging arm and left motionless on the Suncorp Stadium turf.

Fuimaono’s send-off followed Canberra prop Josh Papalii’s dismissal on Saturday while Gold Coast forward Herman Ese’ese was given his marching orders against Penrith in the final Magic Round clash.

Coach Craig Bellamy said Papenhuyzen appeared in good spirits but was badly concussed and unlikely to play next week, adding that “in the climate we’re playing in” the send-off was deserved.

“You’re always going to get penalised if you hit someone around the head, it’s just that they’re making a bigger point of it and the penalties are more severe,” he said.

“I can understand what the NRL is trying to do … we’ve just got to all jump on board with it and hopefully the growing pains will go away pretty quickly.”

Addo-Carr scored as Papenhuyzen lay motionless before he was carted off on the medicab, Fuimaono’s send-off creating a brief two-man advantage that the Storm exploited with another try to Kenny Bromwich.

Already sin-binned for a high shot, Josh McGuire was lucky not to join Fuimaono when he was again placed on report for a hip-drop tackle that left Addo-Carr clutching his knee.

Addo-Carr returned to the game but not before the Storm activated reserve Dean Ieramia who also crossed for a four-pointer.

But the Dragons, still down a man, dug their heels in to finish the half trailing just 14-10 thanks to a Ravalawa double and some incisive Matt Dufty attack.

Dufty (shoulder) was the next to fall though – coach Anthony Griffin admitting the injury was “not real good” – the Storm slowly clicking into gear as Hynes found space on his way to five try assists.

Addo-Carr’s second try came from one of those, the winger finishing a play that began with Hynes down the right side, Jahrome Hughes then weaving across field and grubber-kicking to his corner.

Bellamy said the Storm would do everything possible to keep Hynes but conceded his ability to play multiple positions would make him a target for rival clubs they were unable to match.

Ravalawa and Addo-Carr completed their trebles in the late stages, Griffin left proud but ruining an opportunity missed.

“I thought if we could hang in and get the first try (in the second half) we were a good chance of scrambling away and the players thought so too,” he said.

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