The key numbers and stats following Thursday night’s win over the Broncos.
Storm ran for significantly more metres than the Broncos. The performance of the Melbourne Storm forward pack was a key difference maker in this game. Leading the way was Jordan McLean who clocked 134 metres in 38 minutes. The big man averaged 12.2 metres per run and was easily the best performer on the night. His combination with Jesse Bromwich up the middle appears to have reached a whole new level of powerful this season.
The minute the return was complete. The roar of the AAMI Park crowd when Billy Slater ran onto the hallowed AAMI Park turf was unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. It was a moment when the hairs stood on the back of your neck, leaving you to just sit back, smile and enjoy the incredible sense of Purple Pride. Slated played a total of 52 minutes, running for 117 metres, making two offloads and breaking three tackles.
For a game that was supremely entertaining there was certainly a lot of errors. 24 in total on the night, 13 for the Broncos, 11 for the Storm. Add to that the 20 penalties blown and you had a funny old game of rugby league. There was a significant number of dropped ball, which is surprising when you consider the relatively friendly conditions. The football was still easy on the eye though, making you wonder how entertaining these teams will be when their touch improves by the business end of the season.
That differential in the offload count was a clear sign of Storm’s intentions with the football. The home side was willing to take significant risks with ball in hand, which makes for an attacking style that leaves you hanging off the edge of your seat. Yes, it may result in a higher error count but you cannot argue how difficult it is to play against. The Broncos missed 37 tackles, nearly twice as many as Storm. If this is the style of attack we can expect to see in 2017, this year is going to be a thrilling ride.
There was an understandable sense of sadness when last year’s No.5 Marika Koroibete departed the Club in the off-season. However the first three rounds have shown there made be a new fan favourite for the purple army. Josh Addo-Carr made a lasting first impression in his first appearance at AAMI Park when his 77th minute try leveled the scores when it seemed the party would be spoiled. It was the perfect reward for the 21-year-old who has made a bright start to his Storm career and signs suggest he will only get better as he gets further accustomed to the Craig Bellamy style.