2014 Draw analysis - A fan's perspective

For the second year, the NRL has made the move to announce the fixture for the first 20 rounds of the 2014 season, locking in Melbourne Storms matches up until the end of July.


The 2014 fixture holds promise for the Storm, with the beginning of the season seeing Melbourne play six of their first 10 games at AAMI Park. However this does result in a tough run to the finals, with five out of six games being played interstate between Round 20 and Round 25.


The byes placed in Rounds 11 and 17 coincide with Games One and Three of State of Origin minimising the impact of representative football on Melbourne in 2014.


With match details now released, it is the time to join our No Ordinary Team and become a 2014 Melbourne Storm member today.


Heres a look at five key games Storm fans should keep in mind, both at home and interstate.


Round 2 v Penrith Panthers AAMI Park, Melbourne

Saturday March 15, 5:30pm


This match marks the first home game for Melbourne Storm in 2014, and the twilight fixture gives fans the perfect opportunity to cheer their team into the year. Two landmark milestones also look likely to occur in this game it is set to be fullback Billy Slaters 250th club game while captain Cameron Smith has the chance to surpass Matt Geyers record for most club games for Melbourne Storm (which currently stands at 262).





Round 4 v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs NIB Stadium, Perth

Saturday March 29, 4:30pm (local time)


After travelling to Mackay in 2012, the Bulldogs will host Storm in Perth in Round 4 next year with both sides making the trip to NIB Stadium for the Saturday afternoon fixture. This is a great opportunity for fans in Western Australia to get a taste of an NRL game, and is important in the NRLs quest to expand the competition into the western state.


Round 9 v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles AAMI Park, Melbourne

Saturday May 10, 7:30pm


While Melbourne Storms opening match is against Manly at Brookvale Oval, Round 9 presents an opportunity for Storm fans to witness another battle between two teams with a long rivalry. This match will pit the 2012 Premiers against the 2013 Grand Finalists with both sides looking for a strong start to the season before the State of Origin begins after Round 10. Australian teammates and two of the games premier halfbacks, Cooper Cronk and Daly Cherry-Evans will also go head-to-head in what promises to be a must watch clash.


Round 10 v South Sydney Rabbitohs ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Friday May 16, 7:40pm


Melbourne Storm will face the star-studded South Sydney Rabbitohs at a crucial stage of the year. In what will be one of the most anticipated contests of the season, the Rabbitohs bulky forward pack featuring the formidable Burgess quartet will present a challenge to Melbourne. The agility of both sides attacking players will culminate in a hard-fought and entertaining battle at Sydneys ANZ Stadium.


Round 13 v Sydney Roosters AAMI Park, Melbourne

Sunday June 8, 3:00pm


The last feature match-up will see Melbourne take on 2013 Premiers the Sydney Roosters on Sunday of the Queens birthday long weekend. This is will be an opportune time for Storm fans to get behind their team as they face the likes of Sonny Bill Williams, the RLIF 2013 Player of the Year. It will be the first time since March 2012 the Roosters have played in Melbourne, giving Storm fans the chance to see first hand their side go up against the defending champions.


The 2014 season is shaping up to be the biggest year yet for the NRL and Melbourne Storm, so be a part of the action when our season kicks off at the beginning of March!


Kate is a member of Melbourne Storm writers group. The views expressed in this article are solely of the author and do not reflect the views of Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club.