A typical season for the Melbourne Storm as they finished as minor premiers once again and made it to the preliminary finals for the seventh straight year.
2021 Club RecordEmbed from Getty Images
Competition Points: 44
2021 Player AchievementsEmbed from Getty Images
Most Tries: Josh Addo-Carr (23)
Most Points: Ryan Papenhuyzen (157)
The Melbourne Storm enjoyed another successful regular season, with many believing they would drop down the ladder without the leadership of Cameron Smith. After back-to-back losses to the Panthers and Eels, it looked likely they would struggle: and then they won 19 games in a row.
It looked certain that they were headed to the grand final after an outstanding regular season, but they played their worst game of the season against the eventual premiers the Panthers. It was a disappointing end to what was an excellent regular season.
Despite this, they finished first in offence, second in defence, and recorded the highest points differential in the NRL era. They scored more than 40 points in 11 different matches during the regular season and just dominated in all areas.
To begin the season, Ryan Papenhuyzen was outstanding and looked like a certain for the number 14 jersey for the Blues. However, a major concussion saw him miss a large part of the middle of the season, which saw the rise of Nicho Hynes. He was beyond brilliant this year for the Storm, no matter the position he was asked to play, and was a huge factor in their dangerous attack this season, along with Cameron Munster, Jahrome Hughes, Brandon Smith, and Harry Grant.
The Storm had a number of outstanding players throughout the course of the season, mainly the players above. Hughes was also another brilliant player this season, controlling the team around the park and always threatening with his running game.
The Storm will enter the 2022 season as one of the early favourites again, but with the recent off-field trouble involving Smith, Munster, and Lewis, it isn’t the perfect way to start the season next year. All three players will miss the opening match and perhaps Munster or Smith may no longer be at the club past 2022.
With The Dolphins beginning to build their roster, and the continuous player movements within the NRL, no doubt a number of players from the Storm will be targeted for next season and beyond. No matter who does end up leaving, with Craig Bellamy still running the team, the Storm will contest for a spot in the top eight and continue to enjoy success under him.
NothingButLeague Player of the Season – Cameron MunsterEmbed from Getty Images
Try Assists: 15
Tackle Bursts: 67