GRAND FINAL DAY LOCKED IN | Three big fixtures next Sunday at Sydney's ANZ Stadium! Burleigh and Ill...
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With the tragedy of 2010 firmly in their minds, the Storm looked set to right a lot of wrongs in their view, in 2011. They were expected to be like a starved lion that would annihilate anyone and anything that came near it. The need for redemption and to prove everyone wrong was always going to be a major motivation.
After 10 games, Melbourne had won 7. This was the calm before the storm, as they went on to win their next 12 straight games. The run ended in a spiteful encounter at Brookvale Oval which saw a number of players from both their side and opponents Manly suspended for fighting.
Melbourne lost consecutive games for the first time all year, but still managed to reclaim one of their stripped Minor Premierships.
Melbourne accounted for Newcastle in the first week of the finals, in a match where they never looked like they got out of second gear.
They lost the following week they were upset by eventual Grand Finalists New Zealand, yet even though they missed out on a premiership, the Storm did show to themselves, their fans and possibly even other fans, that they really are that good and that they weren't successful because of cheating.
Maybe 2011 could provide a lot of people at the club and its fans some amount of closure for the penalties the club received in 2010 for salary cap breaches.
2011 Comings and Goings
Gains: Maurice Blair (Penrith), Jack Afamasaga (Cronulla), Beau Champion (Souths), Jaiman Lowe (Souths), Troy Thompson (Canberra), Atelea Vea (Cronulla), Sisi Waqa (Souths), Adam Woolnough (retirement)
Losses: Greg Inglis (Souths), Brett White (Canberra), Brett Finch (Wigan), Jeff Lima (Castleford), Ryan Hoffman (Wigan), Aiden Tolman (Canterbury), Willie Isa (Castleford), Hep Cahill (Crusaders).
After the massive cleanout of quality players due to the salary cap drama's of 2010, the Storm managed to bring through youngsters and sign up good quality replacements, some of whom may have been considered depth players at other clubs. All of them came through and performed their role in the team brilliantly all year, mostly driven by the drama of 2010. But it worked. 19 wins after 22 games shows that Melbourne are