It was a night worthy of the big occasion – see all the key numbers from Storm’s win over the Warriors.
Melburnians showed their purple pride on Tuesday night to record the Club’s third biggest home crowd in three years. The AAMI Park atmosphere was electric on Tuesday night! No matter which team touched the ball the crowd would erupt, adding to the unique and special atmosphere that is created every time these Trans-Tasman rivals meet.
The metres gained by Will Chambers only told half the story. The Storm centre was dominant in both defence and attack as he made a scintillating return to the side following his one-week suspension. Chambers finished the game with one line break, one try assist and 22 tackles to go along with a team-high 200 metres. Every time he touched the ball he had the Warriors’ line scrambling and when he does that, the Storm attack can put their opponents to the sword.
It was a game-high tackle count for Felise Kaufusi. The ever-improving prop showed again on Tuesday night how far he has come as a footballer. In his post-match press conference Craig Bellamy said that if someone had told him Kaufusi would be playing 80 minutes a game this season, he would not have believed him. However eight games in to Storm’s 2017 campaign the 24-year-old has done just that. Kaufusi was a standout in the second half and was rewarded with the game-sealing try with three minutes to play.
The string to Storm’s attacking bow was their ability to offload the ball at will. The eventual count was 15-4 in favour of Melbourne with Spirit of ANZAC Medallist Nelson Asofa-Solomona particularly prolific in this part of the game. It forced the Warriors to scramble constantly, leading them to commit 40 missed tackles, 25 more than the men in purple.
That is how many times the Warriors took the lead on Tuesday night. It was a thrilling game full of countless momentum swings. Both teams gave it their best throughout the 80 minutes but when it mattered most, Storm were able to rise to the occasion and snatch the points. To be able to come back after falling behind on four occasions, Craig Bellamy will be pleased with the mental strength of his side.