Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
Melbourne Storm reaches a major milestone in its short existence this Sunday afternoon when the 1999 premiers host the Brisbane Broncos at Olympic Park (2.30pm) in the team?s 150th National Rugby League game.
And of the other teams to have joined the NRL since 1988, after 150 games the Storm will fall short of the mighty Brisbane Broncos for games won, but well ahead of the likes of Newcastle, New Zealand Warriors and North Queensland.
The Storm (81-4-64) will be gunning for its fourth straight win of the season this Sunday, a record the club hasn?t reached since the premiership year of 1999.
AFTER 150 GAMES IN THE NRL Brisbane: won 102, lost 46, drew 2 (1988 in to NRL) Warriors: won 64, lost 83, drew 3 (1995) Newcastle: won 67, lost 75, drew 8 (1988) North Qld: won 36, lost 110, drew 4 (1995)
While the Broncos have gone on to win five premierships since their inception in 1988, Melbourne got its first title in just the second season, beating St George Illawarra 20-18 in an epic come from behind win.
Brisbane won its first premiership in 1992, its fifth year, while Newcastle, a stronghold for rugby league, took until 1997 in a split competition (ARL and Super League) to register its first championship.
After 149 NRL matches the Storm?s leading try scorer is Marcus Bai (64), the PNG winger also holds the record for the most games played for Melbourne (135).
This Sunday?s match will also mark the return bout for Storm coach Craig Bellamy and his former mentor Wayne Bennett.
Brisbane?s Bennett drew first blood in round ten earlier this year when the Broncos ran away with a 20-point victory at ANZ Stadium ? the Broncos? final match before moving to the newly built Suncorp Stadium.
Melbourne will be looking to turn the tables this week and further build on a comprehensive 3-1 home ground record over Brisbane.
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