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Storm Stat to Fix: goal line defence

Melbourne conceded the fewest tries in 2019 but the numbers reveal that was because they were better at keeping opponents away from their try-line rather than actually defending it.

Not only did the Storm concede the fewest tries and line breaks of any side, they made the most line breaks and scored the second-most tries.

They held the most ball of any club, had the best completion rate, gained the most metres and conceded the fewest and spent more time in the opposition half than any side.

However, their work in both the attacking and defensive 20 still left room for improvement – an issue masked by the fact they just spent so much time at the right end of the field.

Craig Bellamy's men swamped teams in the mid-field and ensured they spent plenty of time on the attack and not too much defending their own line.

However, when they were camped on their own line they were just the sixth-best team at holding opponents out, with rival teams taking 12.3 play-the-balls on average to crack the purple wall.

For comparison, this was well below front-runners Canberra (15.0) and the Roosters (14.2). Cronulla (13.1), Manly and Souths (both 12.7) were all more staunch at their line than the Storm.

Melbourne also gave away the third-most seven-tackle sets from kicks; the fact they also forced the second-most drop-outs just goes to show how much time they spent pressuring opposition try-lines.