The National Rugby League is officially on storm alert after the Melbourne outfit outgunned the South Sydney Rabbitohs 26-10 in Sunday night football. Billy Slater and co were at their best in a performance sure to have teams like the Manly Sea Eagles and Wests Tigers looking over their shoulders.
Many good judges believe the Storm will make it to the playoffs in a canter. That they will grind out enough games to be assured of a home final come September. But those same judges also believe that the Storm will once again falter because they don’t have the flair of many of their opponents.
It seems though that Craig Bellamy and his men will make a concerted effort this year to be more adventurous with the ball and try and create more opportunities.
They weren’t perfect and didn’t look completely comfortable, but an offensively minded Melbourne Storm is a dangerous Melbourne Storm.
The Storm proved they have flair. Melbourne are evolving and the NRL should be wary.
Slater scored a miraculous double for the home team. His first came from a set piece where the Storm spread the ball to the left with Slater having to race for the corner and beat the covering Rabbitohs defenders. Somehow the Dally M Medallist beat the cover and planted the ball before being bundled over the sideline.
His second put an exclamation mark on a game where the Rabbitohs battled away for the entire eighty minutes. Melbourne were just too good.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy can see there is still improvement in his side.
“We got really sloppy with our handling and that let them back in” he said.
“I thought we were a bit dusty after halftime but I thought our defence improved then and I was real happy with how we finished the game in the last 20 minutes”.
“I thought we were pretty much in control.”
The Storm are a 10 to 12 point better side at home with the boisterous AAMI Park crowd riding every play. Melbourne will be almost unbeatable at home this year.
Souths coach Michael Maguire believes there wasn’t too much difference between the sides.
“The biggest difference between Melbourne and us is when they do pull the trigger on their plays they do execute them very well” Maguire said.
“There were times when we were doing that but across the whole game we weren’t”.
The Storm are a juggernaut waiting to happen and if Sunday night football was anything to go by, opponents are going to be in for a long season.
THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON FOOTYSOCIAL.COM.AU AND THEROAR.COM.AU