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Competition - NRL Premiership Round. Round - Round 11. Teams - Parramatta Eels v Melbourne Storm. Date - 23st of May 2016. Venue - Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta NSW. Photographer - Paul Barkley.

Storm head into this year’s State of Origin period with a 9-2 record, their best start to a season since 2012.

Monday night’s win over the Eels made it five in a row for Craig Bellamy’s men.

Each of those wins have come off the back of a resolute defence. Melbourne have conceded less than 8 points per game over that stretch and currently hold the No.1 ranked defence in the competition.

Be at AAMI Park when we take on the Panthers, Saturday 4 June, 7:30pm.

Despite a horrid run of injuries to the Club’s outside backs, Storm have so far handled the adversity, much to the satisfaction of their coach.

“The boys have done a great job, our record is 9-2 now and as I keep saying each week the forwards have been magnificent for us this year,” Bellamy said.

“We’ve also had some injuries to our outside backs as everyone knows but the guys who have come in there have done a great job for us.

“We’ve got guys playing out of position but they just turn up and work really hard, play with some good aggression, good urgency and that is all we can ask of them.

“I am really proud of the effort they are putting in. It is not just effort in games, it is effort in training as well. We’ve got a good group of guys, good people and they’ve got a good level of respect and care for their teammates.”

Storm scored four tries to one against Parramatta to move equal top of the NRL ladder after 11 rounds.

The Eels enjoyed their share of possession (51%) but were unable to find a way through the purple wall that established itself across Pirtek Stadium.

“I thought our defence was great tonight, our ball control especially in the first half was really good. Ruthless is a good word, especially the way we defended I thought,” Bellamy said.

“I am really proud of the way our guys turned up. To hold them to zero until the 79th minute was a trememdous effort, our defence was really urgent tonight and that obviously lead the way to win the game.

“Relentless, ruthless, whatever you like to call it I thought we were very good in that area.”

Melbourne now head into the bye week before hosting the Panthers at AAMI Park on June 4.

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.