Melbourne Storm

Melbourne StormOwned by News Limited, the Melbourne Storm are one of the most memorable rugby league teams in the National Rugby League (NRL) and have enjoyed some of the biggest highs and controversial lows since they were founded in 1997.

Since their first season in 1998, the Melbourne Storm have won three Grand Finals in 1999, 2007 and 2009 but were stripped of their two most recent Premiership titles in 2010 after the discovery of the club’s continued salary cap breaches.

Melbourne Storm Information

Established: 1997 (First Season in 1998)
Home Ground: AAMI Park
Colours: Purple & Gold
Mascot: Boom the Lightning Bolt
Number of Premiership Wins: 1 (1999) – Stripped of two other Premierships (2007, 2009)
Number of Minor Premierships Won: 0 – Stripped of three Minor Premierships (2006, 2007, 2008)

History

The Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club were founded in 1997 after a decision was made by the then ARL to establish a Melbourne-based rugby league team to combat the popularity AFL received in Victoria.

They didn’t play their inaugural first-grade season until 1998, which was the maiden year for the National Rugby League (NRL) competition.

In their opening season the Storm won their first four consecutive games and later made the finals after finishing third on the ladder.

They backed up their impressive first year in 1999 by winning their first, and now their sole, premiership title when they defeated the St George Illawarra Dragons 20 – 18.

The Melbourne Storm have only missed out on a spot in the finals three times since their inception, including 2010 when they were banned from earning any competition points and so automatically finished 16 out of 16 on the ladder regardless of how many games they won or lost.

In recent years the Storm have dominated the NRL, appearing in four consecutive Grand Finals from 2006 – 2009 and winning two of these premiership matches in 2007 and 2009. In a massive blow for the club, the NRL stripped Melbourne of these two premierships after they were charged with continued salary cap breaches.

Further punishing the club, the Storm were also stripped of their three consecutive Minor Premiership titles from 2006, 2007 and 2008 and all the competition points they had gained for the 2010 season, ruling them out of the competition for that year.

It was a huge fall from grace for the team voted the most popular Melbourne sports team in 2009 and who were also named as the NRL Team of the Decade for the 2000s.

The Storm are coached by Craig Bellamy, instated in 2003, and will be re-allowed into the NRL in 2011 once they get under the salary cap conditions.

Emblem, Colours & Jerseys

The Melbourne Storm’s emblem features a god-like figure coming out of a purple storm cloud and raising a lightning bolt above his head, emitting a powerful presence.

The club’s colours are purple and gold, chosen as they are close to Victoria’s state colours of navy blue and white but with a more striking look. Over the years the Melbourne Storm have also used silver as one of their primary colours.

There have been five home jersey designs and six away jersey designs for the club. Their current jerseys, introduced in 2010, feature two lightning bolts over the chest with bold stripes running across the arms and over the neck. The home jersey is predominately purple with white lightning strikes and gold stripes, while the away jersey has no gold on it and has purple stripes and lightning strikes on a white backing.

Football Club

In 2010 the Melbourne Storm received a new home stadium when AAMI Park was completed. AAMI Park is now the primary venue for many of Victoria’s big sporting events and has a capacity of 30,050 spectators.

Prior to AAMI Park the Storm have had home grounds at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Docklands Stadium (now Etihad Stadium) and their first and most frequented venue at Olympic Park Stadium.

The Melbourne Storm also now use AAMI Park as their training facility.

Melbourne Storm club memberships are a great way to really get involved in the club and ensure their future in the NRL. Another great way to get behind the Storm is by betting on them to win at Ladbrokes.com.au!

Mascot

Boom the lightning bolt is the Melbourne Storm’s mascot and he is a thunderous 180kg centre who likes to shake things up. He is an imposing and majestic guy who loves acrobatic, entertaining and creative plays to outclass the opposition.

Best Bet To Make

Aside from shock revelations in 2010 that forced the Storm out of the NRL competition, Melbourne are normally a very safe Make the Top 8 bet, and will be again in 2010.

The Storm love to string wins together, so if they are in-form and have won a couple on the trot they are often a good team to back consecutively to win at Ladbrokes.com.au, but because of their representative-rich team it can be best to avoid them around State of Origin time.

With so many creative playmakers one of the best bets to place on Melbourne, especially when they face lower-seeded teams, is for them to win by a large margin, with Ladbrokes.com.au offering a great range of winning margin markets.