Stats that Matter – Round 21
The greatest player we have ever seen? The case is certainly mounting up. On Sunday Cameron Smith joined Terry Lamb (350) and Darren Lockyer (355) as the only members of the 350-Club. Smith was unsurprisingly perfect in his milestone with four try assists in a clear best on ground performance. The 34-year-old now sits just six games away from breaking Lockyer’s all-time games record. Just when it seemed like Smith could not get any better, he just finds a way to prove us wrong.
Manly was always going to be on the back foot defensively when they missed that many tackles. The Sea Eagles missed almost three times as many tackles as Storm. Cameron Munster proved the most difficult to maintain, giving his opponents the constant slip with nine tackle busts for the game.
When you beat a rival by a record margin it is always a moment to savour. Storm piled on seven tries from seven different try scorers. Five of those were produced in a scintillating second half. It was Melbourne’s second biggest score for the year and a clear sign of what this side is capable of when it has all its attacking weapons firing at once. For the 15,036 strong crowd, the 40-6 score line is certainly something that will kick off their week on the right note.
That is how many Storm players ran for over 100 metres in this game. This was a true team effort in every sense as the playing group shared the load. Josh Addo-Carr led the way with a game high 191 metres for the day. He was part of Storm’s dominant outside back contingent that produced four line breaks, three tries and 730 metres between them for the day. Many hands make light work, which certainly proved the case in this one.
After making that many errors inside the opening 14 minutes it seemed as though it might be one of those days for Melbourne. They completed just two of their opening six sets but from there they steadied the ship, completing at a rate of 88% for the remainder of the game. It was a start that was far from ideal but the fact Craig Bellamy’s men were able to turn it around shows the calmness of this side, and their ability to make adjustments when the pressure is well and truly on.