20-year Memories: One for the record books

On a Thursday night in 2001 under the roof of Docklands Stadium, Storm would face Wests Tigers in what would prove to be an unforgettable night for the purple faithful.

The Tigers were in just their second year of existence after the Western Suburbs Magpies and Balmain Tigers merged at the start of the 2000 season. 

The men in purple had fallen to the joint venture club 10-40 at Leichardt Oval back in Round 5 and had endured an indifferent year with an 8-9 record.

Wests Tigers had won just two of their previous 12 games before heading to Melbourne and while both sides may have struggled to find their best football, after 40 minutes at Docklands one team would finally discover it. 

Melbourne went into half-time with a 24-0 lead, leaving the 10,683 fans hopeful of a purple party in the second half.

Their hope would turn into a delightful reality as Storm began to pile on seven unanswered tries in the second half.

One man who played a big part in the festivities was Matt Geyer.

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The fullback scored a hat trick including a brilliant length of the field effort that he still recalls to this day, even if he did struggle to outrun 101kg prop Luke O'Donnell to do so.

“I think it might have been the longest try I ever scored,” Geyer said.

“I picked the ball up off a kick just outside our own try line, I ran through them and Luke O’Donnell started chasing me.

“Back in those days I used to think I was pretty quick. I never had the gate speed… but once I got out to 30 or 40 I thought I could match it with anyone. So I was out in the clear and I went to go from third to fourth gear and kick away but I wasn’t quite going.

“I defiantly wanted to get there but I guess I wanted to get there too much. I think I only ended up scoring in the corner instead of bringing it around under the posts.

“I would not have scored many tries of that length.”

The eventual score line was 64-0, a record for both clubs though for very different reasons.

The win remains Storm’s greatest ever winning margin – though it has since been equaled in a 68-4 win over the Raiders in 2013.

It is also the fourth highest score in Club history and the first time Storm had kept an opposition scoreless.

For the Tigers, the 64-point defeat is still their biggest ever loss.

That game in 2001 was a part of a dominant run for Storm over the Wests Tigers in Melbourne, with the Victorian side winning their first nine home games against the joint venture club between 2000 and 2009.