Never write off the Storm. That's the message Melbourne sent to their rivals with two remarkable wins in Rounds 24 and 25. The first saw them come back from an early 12-0 deficit to snatch a thrilling 19-18 win over Brisbane thanks to a late Cooper Cronk field goal; the second saw them score two tries in the final two minutes to overcome an 18-10 deficit and steal a 20-18 win against Cronulla.
Melbourne's big three slice up the Penrith Panthers.
Melbourne's big three has perfected a set play that has become their trademark over the past two seasons. It's all pretty simple really. If the Storm manages a quick play-the-ball on the right edge, Cameron Smith will fire a pass from dummy-half to Cooper Cronk down the short side and he will pass inside to a flying Billy Slater to slice through.
After their infamous 2011 clash at Brookvale Oval that saw Adam Blair suspended for five weeks and Glenn Stewart three weeks, Manly and Melbourne squared off at the same venue again in Round 15 with the Storm prevailing this time 26-22.
Billy Slater was simply unstoppable early in the season, scoring nine tries in his first five games including doubles against the Raiders, Rabbitohs, Titans and Roosters. Having scored two tries in each of his first four games, he then fell one try short of becoming the first player in 100 years to make it doubles in his first five.
The Storm's big three slice up the centre of the Titan.
Melbourne's 2012 campaign very nearly got off to a rocky start with one of the pre-season competition favourites trailing Canberra 19-18 with just five minutes on the clock. But with five minutes remaining, Cooper Cronk placed a deft chip towards the posts and Billy Slater leapt highest to score a thrilling match-winner as the Storm snuck home 24-19.
The Storm fullback rises above to steal victory from the Raiders
Two of Melbourne's biggest wins this season came against Penrith, who they thrashed 44-10 in Round 9 and 46-6 in Round 22 for a combined score of 90-16. And they were significant for a number of reasons.