Season Preview 2016 – Melbourne Storm

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Melbourne StormLet’s talk about Melbourne Storm.Their past success has come off the back of a multitude of factors. The “Big Three”. The clubs ability to keep players through salary cap misdemeanors. Coach Bellamy. Whatever the reason, the past is the past, and the Storm now seem stuck in a holding pattern.

No doubt the Big Three are the crux of the team. The team is built around them, with only the scraps of a salary cap left for other players once the big guns get paid. They have done everything: Premierships, State of Origin and Australian rep honours. At this point in their careers, the question needs to be asked: is the hunger still there? The 2012 premiership against the Dogs ticked the box of “legitimate premiership” for the three. Ever since, it seems the fire does not burn as strong. The team will always be there at the pointy end of the season, but Cam, Billy and Coop may not have the moxie for the killer blow.

Part of the supporting cast of the Storm are the host of talented young guns. Again, I theorise: Are the Big Three holding these youngsters back? Munster had a blinder of a season in fullback last year with Slater injured. However, as soon as Billy is healthy, he is straight back into his preferred position. Does Munster have a right to be picked at fullback? Or does he understand he has to wait his turn? Do you go with current form or does seniority conquer all? If they were serious about transition, they would run Munster at fullback with Slater either playing as a super sub or, *gulp*, a winger.

This season could be a great opportunity to transition to the new kids on the block (Melbourne still inquiring with Donnie Wahlberg’s Management for the 2017 Season). Though while the Big Three and Bellamy are still at the club, they will likely stick to the proven formula to get the to finals, see if the weary legs have anything left after a long season and hope there is a flicker of a flame to contest for the premiership.

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