What a positive sign for the under pressure Melbourne Storm today, not only did they put the cleaners through the NZ Warriors to the tune of 40-6 – they showed more than enough passion and were backed by some amazing fan support as they were cheered on by just under 25,000 fans at Etihad Stadium.
Reeling from cheating revelations, the fans were adamant that the blame was squarely on the shoulders of the former administrators of the Storm.
The fans also took out their frustrations on the departing Storm sponsors, ME Bank, Skins and Hostplus all copping big sprays from the supporters at Etihad Stadium – with fans bringing banners that shouted down runaway sponsors.
While some thought this could be the end of Rugby League in Melbourne, it seems this saga could actually galvanize the Victorian supporter base.
Several fans in the crowd today said they would stick by their team no matter what and show Sydney and Queensland, that Melbourne will remain a Rugby League force.
The hugely vocal support will do wonders for a Storm side that is playing for pride only in 2010. If they can manage to retain the core group of players in this squad, they could potential be like uncaged animals in 2011 and if the rage can be maintained, they could again put the cleaners through all opposing sides in the NRL.
You have to feel for the NZ Warriors, after this salary cap saga broke and the Storm had their arms chopped off – whoever faced them today would have been up against an angry beast.
The poor Kiwi’s bore the brunt of the Storm frustration and by the end of the day – it seems Rugby League in Victoria is here to stay, congrats to the Storm players – they have been stripped of everything for possibly cheating undertaken by administrators and now they’re out to prove a point.