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Melbourne Storm will play its 200th game in the NRL this weekend against the Bulldogs at the Sydney Showgrounds. The match, scheduled for a 5:30pm kick-off on Saturday afternoon, will mark a significant milestone for the club formed in 1998.
There are only three players left who were part of the original squad at the Storm, captain Robbie Kearns, Matt Geyer and Scott Hill. The prospect of breaking new ground in the Melbourne sporting landscape was an incentive too good to refuse.
?It?s something I hold very close to me heart. To be a pioneer in a sport here in Melbourne is a big thing and to still be a part of it to this day is a real honour and a privilege,? said Kearns.
?I?m very honoured to be captain of an NRL club and being the Storm makes it all the more sweeter.?
In only its second year of existence, the Melbourne Storm won the 1999 NRL Premiership at Telstra Stadium in front of 107,558 spectators, a world record crowd for a game of rugby league.
?Obviously the Grand Final victory is a highlight, and some of the players I?ve played with such as Glen Lazarus, Tawera Nikau and Robbie Kearns, it?s been a real privilege to have played here,? said Matt Geyer.
?I feel as much a part of the Storm fabric as the Storm is a part of me.
?Although I played six games for Perth, I consider myself a one club man.?
Melbourne Storm?s inaugural captain, Glen Lazarus remembers with fond memories the speed at which Melbourne Storm were able to establish themselves as an NRL force.
?I?d been with two previous clubs that took five years or more to win their first Grand Final, and while I didn?t think about it too much it was a surprise. Most clubs need at least five years or so to establish themselves as a premiership side,? said Lazarus.
?The prefect mixture of youth, experience, coaching, front office staff and a great supporter base was the key ingredients to our early success. What we did in two years was something very special; we just had the right mix of people.?
Much like Kearns and Geyer, Lazarus was at a point in his career where the creation of the Melbourne Storm suited him perfectly.
?I felt that where I was with my footy, to come down and try and establish rugby league in Melbourne was an exciting opportunity, and being offered the captaincy was something I had always aspired to,? said Lazarus.
And in other news:
Melbourne Storm centre Matt King has again been selected in the New South Wales Wizard Blues side for State-Of-origin III to take on the Queenslanders at Suncorp Stadium on July 6th.
After two very impressive displays, King will be attempting to secure a place in the Australian Tri-Nations team to tackle New Zealand and Great Britain in October and November.
Game I at Suncorp Stadium on May 25th was won by Queensland 24-20 after a golden point winning try by North Queensland Cowboy Matt Bowen.
Game II at Telstra Stadium on June 15th levelled the series with New South Wales winning 32-22 thanks to Andrew Johns who returned after injury to produce one of the great Origin performances.
For further information contact the Melbourne Storm: 03 8412 4900 or Chris Couch: 0407 154 836