Committing six errors from their opening nine sets and trailing 14-0 after half an hour, Craig Bellamy admits he can’t remember his side ever starting a game so poorly.
However bit by bit, one set at a time, Melbourne clawed the Wests Tigers back before eventually overrunning them with 22 unanswered points.
Sunday’s 22-14 win improved Storm’s record to 4-0 with three of those wins coming away from home.
This most recent one was not pretty, particularly the first half, but the eventual result was a testament to this team’s ability to perform with their backs against the wall.
“Credit to the guys for turning it around,” Bellamy said.
“Our defence was a whole heap better than it was in the first half and our attack came off the back of that.
“Slowly but surely we got back into the game but having said that we didn’t have a whole heap of petrol in the tank.”
With Christian Welch forced from the field in the 18th minute due to concussion, it was left to the likes of Tim Glasby, Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Joe Stimson to play 40-plus minutes off the bench.
The willingness of the side’s younger players to take on more responsibility was extremely please for the coach.
“I was really proud of some of the younger players who hung in and played bigger minutes,” Bellamy said.
“Guys like Nelson, Felise (Kaufusi) and Kenny Bromwich, they played bigger minutes for us. It was hot out there and I thought they did a great job, especially in the second half.
“Joe has done a really good job today to. He’s come on earlier than we thought. He is a fit kid but he is a tough kid too, he is as tough as nails.
“He did a great job today, to play for as long as he did and the impression that he made.”
Storm will now play back-to-back home games at AAMI Park against the Panthers (April 1) and Sharks (April 9).