Melbourne are on track to notch the most NRL regular season wins in 21 years but Craig Bellamy warns it’ll mean little if they don’t add a third premiership.
The Storm will become the first team since 1995 to record 20 regular round wins in a 24-game home-and-away season if they can win their last three games against Manly, Brisbane and Cronulla.
Sitting on 17 wins and in top spot, Bellamy’s team would become the first time since Manly in 1995 to reach the 20-win mark.
The Storm know about consistent winning.
The 2006 and 2007 Melbourne teams both won the minor premiership with 20 and 21 wins respectively, but they were both later struck from the record books because of the salary cap scandal.
Parramatta also notched 20 victories in 2001, however each side played 26 regular round games that year.
The Storm are also on the verge of a host of other special achievements, according to Fox Sports Stats, including:
* becoming the best defensive team in the NRL era (post-1998). The Storm have conceded an average of 12 points this year and could better the mark set by the 2007 (11.54) and 2008 (11.75) Storm sides (both tarred by the cap scandal);
* becoming just the third team in the NRL era to concede less than 50 tries. In their 21 games this season, they have let in 42 four-pointers;
* becoming the sixth team in history to hold four or more opponents to zero points in a season. They have held three teams to nil this year.
And while all of that has the Storm pointing in the right direction, Bellamy said it could count for naught.
“We want to take advantage of where we are at,” Bellamy said.
“The guys have done a great job to get into the position that we are but unless you take advantage of that and perform well, it won’t mean too much.”
The Storm this week bunkered down in Sydney following Monday’s loss to Canberra because of their five-day turnaround.
The Sea Eagles have been boosted by the return of Nate Myles and Matt Parcell.
Despite being out of finals contention, Manly coach Trent Barrett said Tom Trbojevic (ankle) and Jorge Taufua (shoulder) would not be rested in the final three weeks, despite requiring season-ending surgery.
“It’s important to finish well, we’ve been particularly good over the last two months, and the last two games were really unlucky,” Barrett said.
“(Their final fixtures) are really important and this one in particular.”
STATS THAT MATTER
* Manly have won just three games at Brookvale Oval this season, currently their fewest wins at their home ground in a season since winning two of five in 1965.
* Manly are making the second-least amount of errors (9.5 per game) and the equal second-least errors in its own half (2.2).
* Melbourne’s 22-8 loss to Canberra on Monday was its biggest loss of the season and the most points they have conceded in a game this year.
Source: Fox Sports Stats