Table topping Melbourne Storm’s 2016.
A near perfect Premiership Season took Melbourne Storm’s 2016 campaign to the top of the ladder and kept them there. The bookies favourite’s lost just 5 games all season to secured them a Grand Final slot.
A solid season with just 2 home defeats and 3 away game defeats, meant the Storm never left the comfort of the top of the table. Melbourne were the team to beat and odds on favourites for a Grand Final win.
The AAMI Park (Melbourne Rectangular Stadium) became a fortress with just two games lost at the hands of the Raiders and the Broncos.
The Storm’s away record was just as impressive with 3 away games defeated all season. A 7 game winning streak was the best that they could offer, but their sensational 1 game losing streak helped keep them ahead of the game.
With 97 tries scored this season there were plenty of highs. Their win-lose ration was impressive too, boasting three perfect games.
Beating the Warriors in round 8 to a massive 42-0 set a bench mark that they followed a week later. The Titans clash in round 9 netted a tasty 0-38 win. Their impressive Roosters win in round 14 bagged the highest net win of the season with a 0-46 tag-line.
The game of the season for us came in the round 17 clash away to the Broncos where the Storm played to a packed stadium. A near perfect performance handed out a 6-48 humping that the Broncos struggled to bounce back from.
With only 51 tries against them this season, lows were few and far between with the exception of two less than impressive games. Round 15 seen the first signs of weakness, as their game away to Illawarra ended in a 20-10 beating that left questions open.
Stamina issues raised questions in their Round 24 clash against the Raiders. A 22-8 defeat left Craig Bellamy with plenty to do.
Golden Point games
Only 2 Golden Point games in Melbourne Storm’s 2016 season, both drop-goal winners within 5 minutes of extra play. The first in Round 7 at the Leichardt Oval against Wests Tigers, and the second at home against the Bunnies in Round 22.
Can 2017 be as good as Melbourne Storm’s 2016?
Losing the 2016 Grand Final game against the Sharks could be chalked up as a team low point, but there was no shame in losing to the Sharks. A fabulous game to watch that might not have heralded the result they wanted, but an inspiring game that set the standards for 2017.
That leaves just one question open, Is improvement needed? In a nutshell, YES, but 2017 is looking promising, especially if footy royalty Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk are leading the charge.
A brilliant 2016 performance from Cheyse Blair blew hope of a bright future as the youngsters impressed. All-in-all an impressive 2016 from a team that promises more of the same next season. Bookies favourite for a repeat performance? Definitely!