Sport Rugby League Melbourne Storm on target to match 2007 dominance
Updated:

Melbourne Storm on target to match 2007 dominance

Brodie Croft
Brodie Croft (C) is just one of a group of young guns unearthed by the Storm this year. Photo: AAP
Share
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy rates his 2007 Storm team as the best he has coached but he may have to rethink that assessment if his 2017 edition continue on their winning way.

The Storm clinched the minor premiership last round and on 40 points with two winnable games to play at home against Souths and Canberra, they are on track to reach 44 competition points.

They also won the JJ Giltinan Shield last year, but finished on 42 points with 19 wins.

The last team to hit 44 points was also Melbourne but their minor premiership and NRL title from a decade ago were stripped as part of their penalties for salary cap breaches.

Veteran fullback Billy Slater is one of three players remaining from that line-up, along with skipper Cameron Smith and halfback Cooper Cronk and he sees parallels in the two squads.

“I think the similarities are the consistency,” said Slater.

“Whenever we’ve been really consistent with our performances we’ve been successful.

“That’s not to say that’s going to happen for us this year – we have to make sure that we work hard and we’ll get whatever we work for.”

It was Slater, Smith and Cronk, as well as 20-year-old Greg Inglis, who were the young bucks in the 2007 Melbourne line-up.

Curtis Scott
The Storm wrapped up the minor premiership thanks to a thumping win over the Newcastle Knights. Photo: AAP

This season the Storm have Cameron Munster, Jahrome Hughes, Brodie Croft and Brandon Smith – all aged 22 or younger – who have captured the spotlight.

“The beauty of this team is that it’s very young, if you take a couple of us older fellas out,” Slater said.

“They’re learning a lot at the moment and hopefully we can continue our success over a long period of time.”

The 34-year-old said the Storm had no plans to put their feet up and rest players in the final two rounds despite having their No.1 position assured.

Slater, who has missed the past two finals campaigns through injury and is undecided on his playing future, didn’t want to take any chances that they would lose momentum.

“You can’t just turn up in September and turn it all on, you need to be playing consistent football leading into it,” Slater said.

“It’s as important to play well at this time of year than the ladder position.”

-AAP