Melbourne Storm’s exclusive 250 Games Club inducts a new member tonight when co-captain Jesse Bromwich leads the team out at Bankwest Stadium against Parramatta.
Of the more than 200 players who have played in the NRL for Storm, only five players before Jesse have reached the 250-game mark.
Here’s what happened when they did.
Matt Geyer (2008)
Foundation player Matt Geyer became the first man to play 250 matches for Melbourne when he lined up in the centres against Wests Tigers at Campbelltown on July 14, 2008. Storm won 30-18 with Greg Inglis bagging a hat-trick of tries. That season turned out to be Geyer’s last at Storm with his career ending in the grand final loss to Manly. His final career tally was 262 games, 113 tries and 105 goals.
Cameron Smith (2013)
Cameron Smith’s 250th came at the end of a typically busy week for the Storm hooker. He played for Queensland against NSW in State of Origin on the Wednesday night before backing up four days later for his milestone game against Cronulla at AAMI Park on June 9, 2013. Storm raced to a 28-0 lead before securing a crushing 38-6 victory. Smith kicked five goals. He eventually took his Storm career to an NRL record of 430 matches before officially retiring last week.
Billy Slater (2014)
The second member of Storm’s vaunted “Big Three” reached the 250-game milestone in round two of the 2014 season. In front of almost 14,000 fans at AAMI Park, a Cooper Cronk field goal gave Melbourne an 18-17 victory against Penrith on March 15, 2014. It was a huge night for the club with Cameron Smith breaking Matt Geyer’s club record of 262 games. Slater was sin-binned midway through the second half. His Storm career finished on 319 games and included a club record 190 tries.
Cooper Cronk (2014)
Ten years after making his NRL debut, the champion halfback hit the 250-game mark in the run-in to the 2014 finals series. Ironically, his 250th was against the club he would join later in his career, the Sydney Roosters, and it ended in a defeat -24-12 at the Sydney Football Stadium on August 30, 2014. That match featured five members of Storm’s new 250-game club – Smith, Slater, Cronk, Hoffman and Bromwich. Cronk ended up featuring in 325 Storm games.
Ryan Hoffman (2018)
Hoffy’s 250th Storm game came during his second stint with Melbourne against Wests Tigers on April 7, 2018. At age 34, he reached the milestone in the same game that Craig Bellamy became just the seventh coach to reach 400 NRL matches. Unfortunately, Storm lost 11-10 in a double-header at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland – Hoffman’s previous home ground during three years with the Warriors. Benji Marshall’s field goal proved to be the difference. Hoffman retired at the end of the season after playing 265 Storm matches and 325 games overall.