The stats that tell the story following Melbourne's disappointing one-point loss to the Tigers in Auckland on Saturday.
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Taking care of the football has not been a strong suit of the Storm game over the opening month of the 2018 season and Melbourne’s completion rate on Saturday made the going tough again for the reigning premiers.
Completing at 65%, Melbourne were not able to build the required pressure in attack with the tally 19 errors telling a significant story at the full time whistle.
Saturday afternoon’s defeat at the hands of the Tigers comes as the first time in three years Melbourne have lost back to back matches. The last time Craig Bellamy’s men saw defeats in back to back weeks came in 2015 when they fell to four consecutive losses mid season before finishing the season inside the top four.
They will enter next Friday night’s meeting with the Knights at AAMI Park with the sheer determination not to make it three losses in a row.
The work rate of the Storm outfit could not be denied on Saturday. The disappointing result did not come for want of a lack of effort as the visitors recorded a total of 377 tackles as a team – their most of the season by some margin. Unsurprisingly, skipper Cameron Smith lead the way amassing 45 tackles in the middle of the field.
Penalties were a hot topic in rugby league leading into Round 5 and a total of just nine penalties for the duration of the contest in Auckland saw a free flowing encounter for the most part. Both sides cleaned up the ruck and kept onside at the play the ball as the constant stoppages we saw in Round 4 disappeared.