A record number of members in 2018 is something for everyone associated with this great Club to be proud of. It continues a rapid growth of 60 per cent in membership in just three seasons. The milestone was fittingly reached as Melbourne Storm celebrated 20 years of its history. More than 146,000 people came through the turnstiles of AAMI Park this season, another terrific sign that rugby league is only continuing to grow in Victoria.
With such little points conceded across the 24 rounds Melbourne also finished the season with the second-best defence in NRL. It continued an incredible record that has seen Craig Bellamy's side rank in the top two for fewest points conceded in 10 of the last 12 seasons. This has always been a side built on defence and 2018 was no exception. The purple wall this year was made even more impressive by the fact there were so many personnel changes from week to week. The ability of each player in the squad to step up and fit straight into the defensive system is a testament to what this team has built over a long period of time.
Storm finished the season with the equal lowest completion rate in the NRL. This will be a key area to address for Craig Bellamy and his team over the pre-season. To still finish the season with the fifth best attack in the competition shows what this team is capable of if it holds onto the football.
A total of six players pulled on the purple jersey for the first time in 2018. Sam Kasiano became the first when the experienced recruit played in the season opener against his former side Canterbury. Justin Olam, Harry Grant, Patrick Kaufusi and Albert Vete all made their Storm debuts during the middle part of the season. Scott Drinkwater set AAMI Park alight in the final game of the year with his near man of the match performance on debut against the Panthers, running for 173 metres and scoring a try.