Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Last Friday night the Melbourne Storm got back to their dominant best when they defeated fellow top eight side the Brisbane Broncos.
Craig Bellamy’s team scored an astonishing ten tries as they disposed of one of the competition’s biggest improvers with ease 60-12.
The Storm have now all but secured their spot in the top four, a feat that seemed far too out of reach not even one month ago as the club was experiencing one of their poorest patches of form ever.
July can be summed up as a month from hell for Melbourne as they dropped out of the top four and completed a four-match losing streak.
Rival fans rejoiced as the team that had dominated the NRL for so long had finally started to slip down the table with many prematurely writing the Storm off and declaring that they were not capable of winning the premiership.
However, one of Rugby League’s unspoken rules is to never count out the Melbourne Storm.
They have bounced back with a vengeance by winning their past four games including two wins against top eight sides with their gargantuan victory over the Broncos cementing them as genuine premiership contenders who will be there when the whips are cracking late into the finals.
As invested fans we often like to jump the gun and are quick to doubt a team or overrate a team without acknowledging that a lot can change over the course of the year, and the Storm have been the perfect example of this during the back half of the season.
In hindsight, Melbourne’s drop in form came at the perfect time.
Even the best teams go through rough patches throughout a season but it’s the timing of these rough patches that can make all the difference.
Just look at last year’s premiers the Penrith Panthers.
They were riding high for the majority of the year but were impacted by injury and a drop in form for certain players just after the State of Origin period.
People then began to have their doubts but this turned out to be a blessing in disguise as by the time finals rolled around Penrith had not only had their weaknesses exposed but as a result were able to work on fixing said weaknesses which made them a better team overall that was then able to go to the next level and win the premiership.
Melbourne’s current situation has been quite similar to that of Penrith’s last year with the Storm now back to their best with just two games left to play before the finals.
Next week they take on the Sydney Roosters in a blockbuster between two teams that have a real chance of being there on the first Sunday in October, before ending their regular season against the Parramatta Eels.