Some would say that their premiership aura has faded, but in the NRL, it is not what has faded and what is alive, but how you win games – and for the Melbourne Storm, although it went down to the wire, they achieved that goal. They won the game.
Coming off a mauling of the Panthers, that broke their 5-game losing streak – whilst the Storm were not the same side started the season with 9 straight wins, it was an important win for the club, as they look to build confidence heading into the finals.
The match was well and truly poised with 8 minutes to go, with the Storm leading 18-16, before a try to Gareth Widdop off the back of some crafty team play, essentially put the game to bed.
The match was also special, with Melbourne Storm winger Mahe Fonua becoming the first Victorian player to make his first-grade debut, one that almost ended in a try for him.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy was disappointed at his side’s poor start, particularly given the pasting they handed to the Panthers, the week before.
“The Gold Coast were out-muscling us, out-working us, they were out-enthusing us,” Bellamy said.
“I was really disappointed in that first half.
“I’m not quite sure what happened after last week – whether we got comfortable.
“You’d hate to think that after five losses.”
The Titans loss was compounded by injuries to three forwards, with Luke Bailey likely out for the season with an Achilles problem, Ashley Harrison out with a Gluteus problem, and Greg Bird suffering rib cartilage damage.
“It was the worst thing that could have happened with what we had available to us, it was our worst nightmare.
“It was very hard to recover once they had a sniff.”