Of the Storm 17 that ran out on Thursday night, nine had fewer than 70 games of NRL experience to their name.
If you remove the three, 300-gamers (Ryan Hoffman, Cameron Smith and Billy Slater) – Melbourne’s average number of games played was just 74.
For the team to perform the way it did, against an experienced and accomplished Cowboys side, should give Storm fans plenty of reason to be excited for the future.
Brandon Smith, Brodie Croft, Joe Stimson and Curtis Scott have all played less than 20 games while Suliasi Vunivalu, the NRL’s leading try scorer for the last two consecutive years – notched only his 50th first grade appearance in the 30-14 win over North Queensland.
This next generation has shown it has the ability to perform right now which gives the veterans in the side a tremendous boost in confidence.
“We’ve had a lot of changes in our sides, there’s a lot of new faces and a lot of inexperienced players now,” Cameron Smith said.
“You look at our team last year with Josh Addo-Carr and Curtis Scott, Joe Stimson just started out his career – they were all babies and they still are, they haven’t even played 50 games yet. We’ve got a seven gamer in Brodie Croft as a halfback so it takes time for those guys to build in.”
“I thought I saw some positive signs tonight, off the back of last week where I thought a lot of guys were very frustrated.
“This week we just said to stay out in your position and do your role for the team which allowed us to play better as a whole.”
Storm will travel to Cronulla next week to take on the Sharks in a Friday night blockbuster.