Melbourne Storms

From water boy to the best centre in the NRL: The making of the Storm’s ‘human brick’ Justin Olam

That’s not a usual topic of conversation in an interview with a rugby league player.

Then again Olam isn’t your conventional rugby league player.

If anything, Justin Olam shouldn’t even be a rugby league player.

Little, if anything at all, about Olam’s journey to this point has been conventional.

Storm v Panthers: Foxx, Smith cleared; Penrith trio doubtful

The grinding 8-6 win over Parramatta on Saturday in Mackay was an energy-sapping encounter and the Panthers haven't got the luxury the Storm have enjoyed - virtually 14 days of rest to soothe some of their aches and pains. 

Then again, revenge is a hungry beast and the Panthers appetite is still there to knock the team, that beat them last year, out of this year's finals.

These are the best two teams from the 2021 NRL club competition - 21 wins each from 24 matches.

Not on our watch: Eels stand tall to deny Storm all-time record

Instead, Parramatta - who were written off by all and sundry a matter of weeks ago - emphatically reasserted themselves as title contenders with an astounding 22-10 victory at Suncorp Stadium.

And the ramifications for Melbourne could extend into the finals with three players placed on report: Jesse Bromwich (crusher tackle on Isaiah Papali'i), Harry Grant (hip drop on Makahesi Makatoa) and Brandon Smith (high tackle on Marata Niukore).

Storm 'lose the plot' but find a way to make it 18 straight

In the end the Storm prevailed 26-16 but they had to survive a Jack Wighton-inspired comeback from Canberra before registering their 18th win on the trot.

"Canberra always come and play well against, it's been a big rivalry obviously since Ricky Stuart's been at the club, he and Bellyache [Craig Bellamy] go head to head all the time and they know each other's game really well," Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster told Channel Nine post-match.

"They played well tonight and we needed to play a little bit gritty just to get the win."

Storm outlast gutsy Sea Eagles to make it 17 in a row

The Storm have put opponents to the sword week after week, scoring 40 or more 11 times in their 17-game win streak but the Sea Eagles pushed them to their limit and it was only a couple of late errors that allowed Melbourne to kick away. 

Centre Justin Olam crossed for a double but all of the Storm’s stars contributed to the win through key interventions whether it be a try, try assist or line break. 

Tom Trbojevic was kept relatively quiet, but still came up with two try assists, while Reuben Garrick crossed twice for a double. 

Storm circle all-time Roosters record after destroying depleted Panthers

Pandemics, lockdowns and 15 NRL rivals certainly can't.

With a 16th straight triumph over a badly depleted Penrith outfit – their nearest competition in 2021 to date – Melbourne bested their own club record, and have drawn within striking distance of the Roosters' all-time 19 consecutive wins in 1975.

Craig Bellamy remembers that run well, as a St George fan whose sister was married the same grand final day the Dragons were drubbed 38-0.

Happy Papi: Star fullback re-signs with Storm until 2025

Melbourne announced on Friday they have locked him into a three-year contract extension.

He was already under contract until the end of next season so he will stay at the Storm at least until the end of 2025 after inking this new deal.

Refs cost Warriors win over Melbourne NRL confirm

The Warriors were penalised for holding on to Storm prop Jesse Bromwich in the play the ball, which allowed the Storm to even up the scores before kicking the winning field goal.

But NRL head of football Graham Annesley said a scrum should have been called because Bromwich did not play the ball correctly and Cameron Smith knocked on.



Fusitu'a likely to miss Anzac Day match against Storm

The top try-scorer in the NRL Telstra Premiership last year, Fusitu'a's absence would be significant blow to a Warriors side staring down the barrel of three straight losses for the first time since 2017.

Coach Stephen Kearney said the early indications were that Fusitu'a had suffered rib cartilage damage.

"Given it's a five-day turnaround to our next match I would anticipate he will be unavailable. It didn't look good," Kearney said.

"Looked like possibly rib cartilage, but I'm not 100 per cent sure."

Roosters edge Storm in NRL golden point

In the second minute of extra time, all eyes were on Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk, who was playing in his first game back at AAMI Park since his 2017 departure from the Storm.

But the premiers turned to Mitchell, who slotted over the match winner from 40m out to end Melbourne's unbeaten start to the season.

It ended an epic comeback from the Storm, who trailed 20-8 at halftime as they failed to keep pace with the champions early on.

"It was uncomfortable and beautiful all in one," said Roosters coach Trent Robinson.