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2022 SEASON REVIEW: Melbourne Storm

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Brendan Wood reviews the 2022 Season of the Melbourne Storm where they finished fifth on the ladder and were eliminated in week 1 of the finals.

Stats

Wins: 15
Losses: 9
Most Tries: Xavier Coates (16)
Most Points: Nick Meaney (148)
Club Player of the Year: Cameron Munster

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Perfect Storm subsides in Melbourne as injury bug bites

As any NRL fan will know, the Melbourne Storm over the last two decades have evolved to become the benchmark of the competition. But season 2022 proved to be their toughest challenge in many years.

The opening of the season was disastrous from an injury standpoint. Not only did Brandon Smith break his hand in the first tackle, but they lost Christian Welch and George Jennings to major injuries.

Despite losing key players, the Storm won eight of their first nine games, with the only loss coming against Parramatta in golden point. Their ruthless performances were on display again, with the highlight undoubtedly being their 70-10 demolition of the Warriors in their ANZAC Day clash.

The first major test for the Storm came as it usually does, during the Origin period. With several players earning representative honours, they stumbled through two wins, before going on a rare four game losing streak. Xavier Coates, Reimis Smith and Ryan Papenhuyzen all picked up serious injuries. The latter shattered his kneecap in a collision with Jack Wighton during their round 18 loss to the Raiders.

With Papenhuyzen’s season over, their form continued to fluctuate with Nick Meaney filling in at fullback. However, when Meaney was also struck down by injury, Cameron Munster moved to the back and immediately rejuvenated the Storm attack. His combination with Jahrome Hughes and Harry Grant helped them to a win over an understrength Panthers and a thumping of the Broncos 60-12.

Finishing off their regular season with two defeats, the Storm slipped outside the top four and finished in fifth position. They faced a confident Raiders team in week one of the finals, and ultimately were out enthused 28-20 to end to their season much earlier than most anticipated.

NothingButLeague Storm Player of 2022: Cameron Munster (28)

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Matches: 22
Tries: 11
Try Assists: 15
Line Breaks: 17
Tackle Bursts: 90

Other Points: 16 Harry Grant, Jahrome Hughes; 12 Ryan Papenhuyzen; 5 Justin Olam; 4 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Xavier Coates; 3 Brandon Smith; 2 Nick Meaney.

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