The stat that shows the Melbourne Storm are the best team in 60 years
Storm haters are gonna hate ??? but they cannot deny the statistic that reveals Melbourne have had the best season since the great undefeated St George team of 1959. Craig Bellamy’s side, which finished six points clear of the Roosters to claim the minor premiership, has suffered only four losses this season: to the Roosters 21-20 in golden point in round six; to the Sharks 20-18 in round eight; to Manly 11-10 in round 19; and 22-18 to Canberra in round 22.
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Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy says he wouldn't babysit his players and expects them to act responsibly as the fall out from the Brisbane Broncos' pokie session the night before their humiliating finals defeat to Parramatta continues.
News broke this week that a selection of Brisbane players were out playing the pokies late on the night before their 58-0 thrashing at the hands of the Eels last weekend.
They weren't drinking, but the slots session hasn't gone down well north of the Tweed.
Bellamy, who is one of the hardest task masters in the NRL, said he believes his own players are responsible enough to know right from wrong.
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"Our players know what's expected of them but we're not going to sit at home in the lounge room with them or make sure they have this for dinner and make sure they go to bed at the time and whatever," he said when asked about the Broncos incident on Wednesday.
"At the end of the day, I suppose a little bit of early education and then it's their responsibilty.
"I heard someone say yesterday, if the Broncos win or get beaten by six points, no one is probably saying anything."
Although he hinted that he wouldn't like his players to be on the pokies the night before a big match, he said some players might like to relax by throwin a few 20s into the machines.
"I don't know whether playing poker machines is a good preparation for a game," he said.
"But again, you like you players to be relaxed and that might be how some players relax before a game.
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"At the end of the day, we want them to be relaxed.
"They obviously weren't drinking, they weren't tearing the place up.
"Like I said, going and playing the poker machine for a couple of hours, is that good relaxation or not?
"I don't know.
"Because of what happened on the field, that question is going to be asked a lot in the next couple of days I imagine."
The Storm take on the Eels in Melbourne on Saturday after suffering a late 12-10 loss to the Raiders last weekend.
Pictures: The greatest moments in NRL history
From 1908 until 1994, Australia’s first rugby league competition was ran by New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL). However, the league along with other minor premiers were re-unified to form National Rugby League in 1998. A look at some of the most memorable moments over the years.
2015 - North Queensland Cowboys vs. Brisbane Broncos
In first NRL final that ended in a draw, North Queensland claimed victory over Brisbane 17-16 in golden point extra time. It was their first premiership title. The winning goal was scored by Johnathan Thurston (R), who was awarded the Clive Churchill medal.
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(Pictured) Matthew Scott and Johnathan Thurston of the Cowboys hold aloft the premiership trophy after winning the 2015 NRL Grand Final match.
2014 – South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. Canterbury Bulldogs
Since 1971, Rabbitohs won their first ever title with the help of Sam Burgess’ (pictured) incredible performance that earned him the Clive Churchill Medal. The final score was 30-6.
2013 – Sydney Roosters vs. Manly Sea Eagles
With 18-8 lead, Manly had everything under control until the last 25 minutes when Roosters made a stunning comeback to win the final for the first time since 2002. Roosters secured 26-18 victory when Michael Jennings (pictured) broke through to ground James Maloney's grubber in the last few minutes of the game.
2012 – Melbourne Storm vs. Canterbury Bulldogs
In one of the most controversial moment in NRL history, Bulldogs’ James Graham (R) bit the ear of Storm’s Billy Slater (L), for which the former received a 12-match ban. Storm won the final 14-4.
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2008 – Manly Warringah Sea Eagles vs. Melbourne Storm
Team Manly thrashed their opponents by the biggest ever margin (40-0) in the game’s history. The highlight of the game was Michael Robertson’s (L) hat trick tries that made him the first player to score three tries since Steve Renouf in 1997. The final also saw Steven Menzies equal Terry Lamb's record of 349 first-grade games.
2005 – Wests Tigers vs. North Queensland Cowboys
It was the first ever grand final appearance for both the teams, where West Tigers’ won 30-16. Tigers’ Brett Hodgson displayed an incredible performance by scoring five goals.
2004 – Canterbury Bulldogs vs. Sydney Roosters
In the first half of the game, Bulldogs were trailing 13-6, but in the second half they quickly covered the lead with the help of Matt Utai and Hazem El Masri. During the last few minutes of the game, Bulldogs were leading 16-13, when Roosters’ Michael Crocker (pictured) made a break on the 40m line but was tackled by Bulldogs Captain Andrew Ryan. The Bulldogs win the final 16-13.
2003 – Penrith Panthers vs. Sydney Roosters
In the last game with Penrith, Scott Sattler made one of the greatest tackle in NRL history. It was a turning point of the game when Sattler chased down and made a tackle on the Roosters’ winger Todd Byrne (in white), sending him out of the field. Panthers won the game – 18-6.
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2001 – Newcastle Knights vs. Parramatta Eels
Parramatta Eels were trailing 24-0 at high time and did everything to fight back but fell short. Knights won the final 30-24. The highlight of the match was Timana Tahu's (pictured) second-half try, where he got tangled up with Luke Burt before putting the ball down inside the chalk.
1999 – Melbourne Storm vs. St George Illawarra Dragons
At half-time Dragons were leading 14-0 and everyone thought the game was going to end in their favor. However, Storm made a stunning comeback when Anthony Mundine knocked on over the try line that proved to be a turning point in the game. Storm quickly covered up the lead to 18-14. In the 77th minute, Brett Kimmorley bombed to winger Craig Smith but before he could ground it, Dragons’ Jamie Ainscough knocked him unconscious. The video referee gave a penalty try to Storm, which was successfully converted. Storm won the game 20-18.
1997 – Newcastle Knights vs. Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Newcastle Knights’ Andrew Johns helped his team reach their first final against defending champions Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. Before the final game, there were concerns about Johns’ health as he had suffered a punctured lung, however, he went ahead and played the final. Both the teams were tied at 16-all and in the final moment of the game Johns ran down a narrow blind side and slipped a pass to winger Darren Albert who successfully scored, giving the Knights a 22-16 win over Manly.
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1989 – Canberra Raiders vs. Balmain Tigers
In one of the greatest final, Canberra Raiders defeated Balmain Tigers 19-14. The final witnessed Canberra’s Steve Jackson come off the bench to score his memorable try that earned his team their first premiership.
1975 – Eastern Suburbs vs. St George
The 1975 final is best remembered for Graeme Langlands wearing white boots rather than the standard black. But the main highlight was his groin injury for which he was given a painkilling injection just before the game. Instead of reducing the pain it numbed his leg completely. Talking about the incident, he wrote in his book “Larrikin and Saint” – "It was an injection that went wrong. It wasn't the doctor's fault. The injection went in where the nerves shouldn't have been. They had moved because of all the injuries that I've had around the groin." Eastern Suburbs won 38-0.
(Pictured) Graeme Langlands talks to media during an NRL press conference at Sydney Cricket Ground on April 1, 2014.
1970 – South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
In the 1970 final between South Sydney Rabbitohs and Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, South’s captain John Sattler turned out to be a star player. In the opening moments of the game, Sattler suffered a double fracture of his jaw after being punched by Manly’s John Bucknall. However, he decided to continue playing and said to his teammate Mike Cleary, "Hold me up so they don't know I'm hurt." South Sydney won the final 23-12.
(Pictured) John Sattler talks to the media during a NRL Grand Final media opportunity at Rugby League Central in Sydney on Oct. 3, 2014.
NRL finals: Craig Bellamy slams 'tall poppy syndrome' after Cameron Smith criticism .
"I don’t adhere to that theory at all .“At the end of the day, we will put him up there and they knock him down,“Seems to be a little bit of the Aussie way, the tall poppy. © Getty Images Cameron Smith “Give me Cameron Smith anytime, any day that you’re involved with any club.“He’s probably the most selfless player I have ever coached.”Bellamy believes that Smith hasn't made his mind up about whether he will play beyond 2019 for the Storm, suspecting he will make the decision after his final game.