Melbourne Storm - Rivalries


St George Illawarra Dragons: The Storm narrowly beat them in their first grand final in 1999, with a late penalty try putting the Storm in front. The following year Anthony Mundine declared that the Storm were not "worthy premiers" in the run up to their round 5 rematch. The Storm responded by beating the Dragons 70–10. In Round 18 the Dragons added to the rivalry by defeating the Storm 50–4. In 2006 the Storm defeated St. George Illawarra in the Preliminary Final. On 21 July 2008, Storm won a match at Olympic Park 26–0, that was highlighted by several ugly brawls. In 2009, the Storm beat them in the Round 1 home game 17–16 with a field goal in Golden Point (the second time the two teams were drawn at full-time).

Brisbane Broncos. The Melbourne Storm has a strong rivalry with Brisbane, built in large part on the large number of finals games played between the teams, including one final in each year from 2004 to 2009; the Storm winning all but one of them. The move of Brisbane assistant coach Craig Bellamy to Melbourne has also been attributed to fueling the rivalry, as well as the wide spread of Queensland Origin players across their squads in the better part of the past decade.

"When Bellamy left here and went to Melbourne, the rivalry with them went up a notch then... their record is good against us."

Darren Lockyer, 26 September 2009

Every year since Brisbane's victory over Melbourne in the 2006 Grand Final, Melbourne have ended the Broncos' season by knocking them out of the finals. Melbourne captain Cameron Smith commented on the rivalry prior to their 2009 Preliminary Final at Etihad Stadium.

"A lot of people talk about us and Manly, but I think all the boys for whatever reason would say we take more satisfaction out of beating the Broncos...we love playing them...there is always plenty of feeling and intensity in the probably wouldn't feel like September if we weren't playing them at some stage."

Cameron Smith, 26 September 2009

The Brisbane Broncos defeated the Storm 15–8 in the 2006 NRL Grand Final. The Storm sought revenge through a 40–0 thrashing in the 2007 Qualifying Final at Olympic Park Stadium. The 2008 Semi-Final at Suncorp Stadium ended with Melbourne dramatically winning 16–14 with a try on the final play of the game. In 2009 Brisbane were again beaten by eventual premiers Melbourne, this time 40–10 at Etihad Stadium, catapulting the Storm to their 4th consecutive Grand Final Appearance.

Manly Sea Eagles. The Storm defeated Manly 34–8 in the 2007 Grand Final but lost to in the 2008 re-match in a history-making 0–40 loss. To add to the rivalry, Melbourne beat Manly 40–12 in the opening final of the 2009 finals series, ending their bid to be back-to-back premiers. In September 21, 2012, Storm and Manly played each other in the preliminary final for the first time. Storm again thrashed Manly 40-12, again ending their chances of winning back-to-back titles.

I haven't been a part of the matches previous to this year which built that rivalry but you certainly get a sense that interest in the game and the level of excitement and enthusiasm from the players goes up,"

Brett Finch, 8 September 2009

New Zealand Warriors: More of a traditional rivalry due to the large amount of Kiwi internationals Melbourne has fielded in their history. Matches between the two clubs are normally close and low scoring, with the overall head to head slightly in Melbourne's favour (30 clashes, Storm 15-Warriors 13 & 2 draws). These two sides have also played an annual ANZAC Day clash each year since 2009.

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