They have been waiting almost a year, but finally it has happened. The Storm have accrued two competition points following the 2010 NRL Cap scandal, by defeating the Manly Sea Eagles 18-6 at AAMI Park.
After they were stripped of accruing points in 2010 after they were found to be breaching the salary cap, a new-look Storm side, full of youngsters and new recruits, showed that they are still a force to be reckoned with in the NRL.
The game did however start with a rather dour affair, with the score remaining deadlocked at 2-2 all for most of the first half, before Storm winger Matt Duffie scored off a great floater pass from Billy Slater.
Manly did respond almost immediately however, and they scored a similar try, with Stewart delivering a floater pass, putting Manly winger Michael Robertson over.
With the game heading into the second half, the Storm lifted their work-rate and it paid dividends, with Chase Stanley crossing the line.
For Manly, their loss was made even harder to deal with, after centre Jamie Lyon went off with a hamstring injury, and is expected to miss a few weeks, and prop Jason King was put on report.
For Melbourne captain Cameron Smith, it was pleasing to finally be awarded with two points for their effort.
“It’s nice but we’re not thinking about last year,” he said.
“Our goal was to go out there and win.”
Coach Craig Bellamy was also pleased with the win by his side.
“I was really happy with our performance,” Bellamy said.
“We knew Manly were going to be tough and aggressive and I thought our blokes really stuck to the plan … and we showed a lot of patience.”
“I thought our guys stuck to the plan well for a new team like we are, new guys and a lot of young players,” Bellamy said.
“It was a tough game in hot conditions for Melbourne and I was really happy with the performance and a win on the end was nice.”
For Manly coach Des Hasler however, he was quite disappointed, and lambasted his side for their poor error rate.
“We were really, really disappointing in the way we treated the ball,” he said.
“While our defence at times was brave … our attitude with the ball was inexcusable.”
“It’s not really good in there at the moment. Jamie Lyon is the biggest concern,” Manly coach Des Hasler said.
“He’s done a hamstring and will need scans to determine to what extent that is torn. Will Hopoate has a shoulder injury and the rest are bumps and bruises.
“And Jason King is on a report charge, but I don’t think his carry-overs are too dusty.
“Ballin has a bit of concussion, but he’ll be OK.”
Dally M Points
3 Billy Slater
2 Matt Duffie
1 Gareth Widdop
MELBOURNE STORM (18)
Tries: Chase Stanley, Dane Nielsen, Matt Duffie
Conversions: Cameron Smith (2/3)
Penalty Goals: Cameron Smith (1/1)
MANLY SEA EAGLES (6)
Tries: Michael Robertson
Conversions: Daly Cherry-Evans (0/1)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Lyon (1/1)