Ground: AAMI Park
Melbourne Storm Match Previews and Score Predictions
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The Melbourne Storm are Rugby League’s version of Real Madrid and Barcelona, with a team full of superstars, a huge following and huge exposure in one of the world’s leading cities.
Melbourne Storm’s home ground AAMI park is an impressive place to play the game and regularly allows the club to get amongst the largest gates in the NRL and with a team down the years that have been lead by star captain Cameron Smith and featuring players such as Cooper Cronk, Ryan Hoffman and Billy Slater the Melbourne faithful often witness fantastic games and home victories.
The Storm have had their problems off of the field which saw the club stripped of not only points but titles but in 2012 the club rebounded and went on the win the NRL championship.
Melbourne Storm NRL
The Storm may have broken out of the ashes of Super League wars but since then they have become one of the dominant forces of the NRL and one of the most famous club side sin the world of Rugby League.
The Storm are, as you would expect, based in the city of Melbourne which is in the state of Victoria and that makes them an expansion side and the sole representatives of the sport from Victoria in the NRL.
Melbourne have, in our opinion, one of the worlds greatest Rugby League stadiums as there Melbourne Rectangular Stadium home, better known by the sponsored name of AAMI Park, is the perfect size for a Rugby League club and all of the fans are close to the action.
The ground can host around 30,000 and sits on the site of the Edwin Flack Field in the Sports and Entertainment Precinct of Melbourne’s city centre.
That makes it easy to reach for all fans and with its bright green seats and unique designs featuring spherical globes, the ground a fantastic place to watch the sport and has helped the Storm develop a huge following despite playing in a region not historically known for its Rugby League culture.
Melbourne’s primary nickname is the Storm.
Despite been a relatively young club, Melbourne have developed a number of rivalries based upon theme been at the top of the game for the majority of their existence and also for been a new club taking glory away from the more established top clubs.
An early rivalry was with the St George Illawarra Dragons as they battled for titles in the late 1990’s but that one has petered out over the last couple of decades, with Manly taking over from the Dragons for a period but that has also dropped off.
One big rivalry that was established early and that has remained constant has been between the Storm and the Brisbane Broncos.
This was built upon on the field issues including a number of huge matches played between the 2 in the 2000’s including Grand Finals and the fact that the Storm have built much of their success on bringing the best players from Queensland to the club.
It has traditionally been the Broncos who developed and the enjoyed the success of playing leading Queenslanders but with the signing of Craig Bellamy, the Storm had access the top players from up north.
The club also have a rivalry with the New Zealand Warriors who are also a club representing a large area by themselves and the Warriors are also a relatively new club brought into the league for expansion purposes but it has also ben the large number of Kiwi stars who have played for the Storm that have added interest and intrigue to the matches between them.
Colours / Playing Kit
The Storm are always easy to recognise when ever they take the field thanks to their predominantly purple and navy playing colours with touches of white and gold.
The road, they will sometimes where a predominantly white playing shirt but with purple and navy still prominently featured.
The Storm were developed on the back of record State of Origin attendances at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and although the ARL’s plans were scuppered by the Super League wars, the breakaway league did start up a team in the city and with the leagues combining in 1998, the Storm joined the NRL and the club were able to pick up a number of big names from teams forced to fold.
As a sign of things to come for a club that have continued to enjoy success, the team won their first ever game, against the Illawarra Steelers and they also reached the finals in their first year.
The clubs first Premiership game in 1999 was when they took on and defeated St George Illawarra by 20-18 in the Grand Final.
The early 2000’s started poorly but that soon changed around when the Craig Bellamy era began. This period has been defined by success and scandal, with the 2 often overlapping at the same time.
As soon as Bellamy took over, the club returned to annual staples of the end of season finals and with the emergence of Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk, the club were set for a decade or so of success.
In 2006, the club won their first Minor Premiership but lost the Grand Final to Brisbane although it did not take long for them to right that wrong as they not only reached the 2007 final but they thrashed the Sea Eagles to pick up another title.
In 2008, the first overlapping of success and scandal hit when they reached the Grand Final once again but with Cameron Smith suspended and Bellamy hitting out at the NRL in the build-up, the Storm looked distracted in the match and lost by a record breaking score of 40-0.
In 2009, the club reached a record equalising 4th straight final and defeated the Eels to pick up another title.
The 2010 season saw the Storm take on the equally domain Leeds Rhinos in the World Club Challenge in a match that Melbourne won 18-10 in an epic match up.
After years of success, both domestically and internationally, one of the biggest scandals in the sport hit soon after that match against Leeds when it was revealed in April that the club had breached the sports salary cap every year between 2006-2010 due to some clever accounting and that led to the Storm been stripped of all titles won during that period including the 2007 and 2009 Premierships.
They also were not allow to play the finals for that season but there was a shining light happening at the same time as 2010 saw the opening of the clubs new and impressive AAMI Park home stadium.
The club needed to shed players during this period, which they did, but they also held onto a number of their big stars so it was not too surprising that the club quickly made its way to the top of the sport once more and won the 2012 Grand Final.
In 2013, they headed over the UK once more to take on the Rhinos once again the WCC and again they came away with the title after a fantastic win by an 18-14 score.
2016 saw the club pick up another Minor Premiership and although they lost in the Grand Final, they were back on the biggest stage in 2017 and once again picked up a NRL title.
Incredibly the Storm once again faced the Leeds Rhinos in the WCC and easily defeated them at AAMI Park by 38 points to 4 before celebrating their 20th season by reaching the 2017 final only to lose to the Roosters.
In 2020, the club featured a number of issues out of their control with the global pandemic meaning that they needed to play many home matches away from Victoria, but despite spending much of the year on the road in Brisbane, the club went on to win the Grand Final against Penrith.
Melbourne Storm Live Streaming
With year after year of success, some of the sport’s greatest stars and lots of interest in the club, both good and bad, it is no surprise that the Storm are one of the names that instantly come to mind when you think of the NRL and it is no surprise that they have lots of fans across here in Britain.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to watch their matches live on television over here but thankfully there are now a number of option available.