Throwback Thursday: Milestone mayhem
Round 2, 2014 - a memorable night for many reasons as the clash between Storm and the Panthers saw AAMI Park bursting with purple pride.
Storm skipper Cameron Smith ran out for game No. 263 in a purple jersey, breaking the Club’s games record previously held by Matt Geyer.
Alongside him that night, playing game 250 was great mate Billy Slater, who was just the third player in Storm history to reach the accolade.
As the two milestone men led Melbourne out onto AAMI Park the purple faithful were in an understandably jubilant mood.
Cooper Cronk was playing his first game of the season after missing the season opening win over Manly that came courtesy of a Smith field goal.
It took just nine minutes for the mercurial halfback to stamp his mark on the 2014 season when he put in the assist to send Kevin Proctor over.
Five minutes later Cronk was again at the centre of a move that sent the ball to Slater before a quick pass to Mahe Fonua had Storm quickly into an 8-0 lead.
Chasing their first win in Melbourne in nine years, it was a far from an ideal start by the Panthers.
They needed a steadier and Kevin Naiqama obliged to score down the right edge and get the visitors on the board 25 minutes into the contest.
Fonua then turned provider as he stiff-armed his way through the Panthers’ line to find Waqa on the outside to score.
Naiqama hit back again though five minutes later to secure his double before Cameron Smith converted a penalty on half-time that saw the home side take a 14-10 lead into the sheds.