Inside eye of Storm

Roy Masters

Surely it is the first time in Australian professional sport where a team has won a minor premiership but there was no beer in the dressing-room.

It’s not as if the Storm expected to lose to Manly on Saturday night at Brookvale Oval and therefore had no champagne ready to celebrate their comprehensive 36-6 victory over their long-term bitter rivals. An alcohol ban was in place, standard practice for NRL clubs on six day turnarounds.

The only beer in the dressing-room was four cans of Brick Lane — the product of a micro brewery whose shareholders include Storm owner Bart Campbell and former champion fullback Billy Slater. The beers were set aside as advertising in front of Storm coach Craig Bellamy at the post-match press conference.

This was not the only shock to this former coach, nicknamed "Thirsty", who was embedded with the Storm on their trip to Brookvale, a venue made more palatable by a consoling beer after a loss, or celebratory suds after a win.

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