Stats that Matter – Round 26
What an incredible showing from the purple army who turned out in their numbers for the final home and away game of the season. There is no greater electricity than when Storm fans are in full voice and they certainly had plenty of opportunity to do so as they watched their side run in five tries to one. The noise around AAMI Park was defeaning and will no doubt be a sign of things to come during the finals, starting with next week’s Qualifying Final against the Eels.
Cameron Smith is officially the joint holder of the NRL games record. On Saturday night the Storm skipper equaled Darren Lockyer when he ran out for his 355th game. The ageless Smith had a game-high 40 tackles in a typically masterfull performance. It now sets up history to be made at AAMI Park in Week 1 of the finals with Smith set to play the most games in NRL history.
Second year blues? Don’t think so! For the second consecutive Suliasi Vunivalu looks to have finished the home and away season atop the NRL try scorer’s list. The Flying Fijians try in the 62nd minute saw him score his 23rd try in 2017 and overtake Rabbitohs winger Alex Johnston for the number one spot. The only player now able to catch him is the Dragons' Jason Nightingale though he'll need to score eight tries to even draw level with Vunivalu. The 21-year-old has now scored 46 tries in his first two seasons and the best part? This week he re-signed with the Club to ensure he will keep doing his thing in purple until at least the end of 2020.
The 2017 season saw this team equal the Club’s second most successful season in Storm history. Craig Bellamy’s men finished the season with seven game wining streak to finish with 21 wins for the year. That number matches the efforts of 2006 and sits just one win shy of Storm’s all-time best – 21 victories during the 2007 season.