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Most teams would be delighted with a 6-1 start to the season, ending Anzac Round in equal first on the ladder.

But for Nick Meaney, the Storm are just getting started.

“We're pretty hard critics here,” he told after the 54-20 defeat of the Rabbitohs. “Simply, there's always room for improvement.”

“You’ve got people in new positions and stuff like that like myself, but I think it gives people energy, sometimes, with new faces and new challenges.

“It’s always a bit of a slow start and you find your feet. It’s a long season so we’ve got plenty of games to work on it. We’re slowly getting there but obviously still a long way to go, and we can definitely get a lot better.”

Coates is captivating

Melbourne showed their ability with the ball in their hands on ANZAC Day, piling on the points and securing their first comfortable win of 2024 after a number of heart-stopping finishes to start the year.

Meaney has adapted well to the role of centre this season but admitted he struggled at times on the right edge against the Rabbitohs, with work still to be done on his defensive game.

“I may have missed a few tackles,” he acknowledged. “Wighton’s a handy player, he’s pretty hard to tackle, but I’m still sort of learning that centre role and putting myself into awkward positions to try and make tackles.

"I have to do a better job doing that. There’s so many fast and agile people out there playing the game now. You really have to test yourself and put yourself into awkward positions to try and make those tackles.

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“I’m still learning. The coaching staff are really good with me, really patient, and the boys I’m working around are really good with me as well. So hopefully I keep improving each week and getting better.”

It is that connection on the pitch that captain Harry Grant highlighted in the post-match press conference. As Meaney and the rest of the team continue to adapt and grow into their roles, the Storm are emerging as serious contenders once again for the premiership.

“What excites me most is the cohesion and squad we have at the moment,” Grant said. “A lot of people talk about the spine tonight but the rest of the team, they all played 8/10, 9/10 and they’re probably not getting the raps for it.

“Week-in week-out they’re improving, doing their job, and we’ve got so much confidence in our squad. That’s the squad as a whole at the moment. I think there’s some guys out there that are in career best form and played really well for us, and we need them to keep doing that as well.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.