Just imagine for a second that there was a team that had not lost in the opening round of the NRL season for 22 years. Just imagine it. Are you done? Well, the Melbourne Storm are that team after their 8-0 win over the Penrith Panthers.

In front of a vociferous home crowd and without Cam Munster, it was the defensive resolve of the Storm side that will have their fans and coach Craig Bellamy most pleased.

The first half was a combination of missed opportunities and gritty defence from both sides with the only points coming via the boot of Nick Meaney.

As both sides traded blows, it took 50 minutes before the first try would be scored in the match.

It came on the back of a pinpoint Jonah Pezet kick, a bat-back by Xavier Coates and a smooth ride to the line for Reimis Smith.

Penrith would then continue to throw everything they had at the Storm but it all came to no avail.

The Storm’s round one record continues in what is an incredible statistic as Penrith are left facing another tough match in round two against arch rivals Parramatta.

Bellamy admitted that he thought his side played poorly but showed resolve.

“I don’t think we played that well to be quite honest but we were really gutsy,” Bellamy said.

“We had some blokes out on their feet but we just kept finding a way.”

A lack of pressure and application as well as inconsistent defence are the things Panthers coach Ivan Cleary believes cost his side.

“We couldn’t maintain any sort of pressure,” Cleary said.

“I thought we defended well in our end and not so much in theirs.”

Melbourne Storm 8 (R. Smith; Goals: Meaney 2) def. Penrith Panthers 0.

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Eliesa Katoa (MEL)

2. Isaah Yeo (PEN)

1. Christian Welch (MEL)

By ricky

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