When Melbourne Storm left Victoria on June 24, they thought they were leaving home for just a few weeks. But on Thursday night they will bring up the 100-night milestone.
Via Roy Ward/The Age.
The Storm were forced to suddenly flee Victoria due to the NSW and Queensland government plans to shut their borders as it became apparent Melbourne was entering a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic jack in June.
Three days at Homebush in Sydney allowed the Storm to talk with governments in both states about how they could remain in the NRL season.
The deal they arrived at saw the team head to the Twin Waters Resort on the Sunshine Coast and they have remained there ever since, with most families joining them along with a number of staff members.
The Storm party is 132 people strong and it will remain that way until, they hope, night 127 – which would mean the team has made the grand final.
The experience for the players, staff and families has been as good as they could have hoped for, especially with many of them young families.
On-field, the Storm tried their best to keep the same routine as they have in Melbourne while off-field they designed meal times and days off to be as open as possible to give everyone time away from football.
Storm football director Frank Ponissi paid tribute to the group as the team finished second with a 16-4 win-loss record. They will play a qualifying final against Parramatta at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday night.