20-year Team: Locks

The No.13 jersey at Melbourne Storm has never been one for the faint hearted. 

Just take a look at the players below and you get a sense of the fearless nature that is required to play the lock position at this Club. 

We look at the potential candidates to fill the No.13 jersey in Storm’s 20-year team:

Tawera Nikau

  • 53 Storm games (1998-99)
  • 8 tries
  • 1999 Premiership player 

The original Storm enforcer. His performance in second half in the 1999 NRL Grand Final to swing the game Melbourne’s way now holds a special place in Storm folklore. An imposing on-field figure with a demeanour to intimidate the best of them, Nikau was a man who was simply impossible to stop when in full flight. The powerful Kiwi spent just the two seasons in Melbourne but played a crucial hand in establishing the Club’s famous culture that is still thriving today.

 

Ryan Hinchcliffe

  • 175 Storm games (2009 – 2015)
  • 19 tries
  • 2012 Premiership player

‘Hinchy’ was an ever-reliable, consistent performer with rarely a difference between his best and worst performance. That picture of consistency has become the bare minimum required from a Storm player these days and we have Ryan Hinchcliffe to thank for that. He predominantly played in the lock position but was also accomplished to play at hooker when required. In a sign of how great a club-man Hinchcliffe was, he had his greatest season during the team’s toughest, named Storm Player of the Year in the rollercoaster that was the 2010 season. He also played every game during the 2012 Premiership-winning year and by the time he departed the Club in 2015, did so as one of his most beloved sons.

 

Dallas Johnson

  • 157 Storm games (2003-09)
  • 12 tries
  • 2007, 2009 Premiership player

A player who was living proof that the toughest blokes do not have to be the biggest. Standing at a modest 183cm, Johnson made every bit of his frame count. He was a fearless leader of the Storm pack during the first half of the Craig Bellamy era. If the team needed a job done, Dallas Johnson would be your man to do it. He was one of the best tacklers you will ever see – opposing players would have been forgiven for altering their run to avoid the Storm hard man.

 

Dale Finucane

  • 76 Storm games (2015-17)
  • 8 tries
  • 2017 Premiership player

Since arriving in Melbourne for the 2015 season the baton of Storm enforcer was passed to Finucane who has gladly accepted it with both hands. Over three seasons the boy from Bega has grown into one of the best locks in the competition. The term ‘never takes a backwards step’ was invented for players like Dale Finucane. Now part of the Club’s leadership group and having re-signed long term to stay in Melbourne, the legacy of the No.13 Storm jersey could not be in better hands.