Stats Insider: Why Storm are 'team of the decade'

Melbourne’s premiership win on Sunday evening confirmed the club as the number one side of the first decade of this century, pipping Brisbane using NRL.com’s exclusive formula.<br><br>Both the Storm and Broncos won two premierships between 2000 and 2009 but with four grand final appearances and three minor premierships, the Melbourne side overtook Brisbane – despite the fact the Queensland-based side contested all 10 finals series.<br><br>Points were awarded by reversing the final premiership results in each of the 10 years; for example Melbourne’s premiership win on Sunday netted them 16 points for being the best of 16 teams, while the Roosters as wooden spooners collected one point. <br><br>Grand final victories were then awarded five bonus points, minor premierships were awarded three bonus points and runner-up finishes (grand final losses) were allocated two bonus points.<br><br>On ladder position alone, the Broncos finished just ahead of the Storm but with four grand final appearances (2006-2009) and an impressive three straight minor premierships (2006-2008) the 2007 and 2009 premiers deserve their position atop the leader board.<br><br>“It means a lot to us,” Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy, who joined the side in 2003, confirmed to nrl.com. “I spoke to the senior guys about that at the beginning of the year and don’t think the younger players really came on board much but the senior guys like Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Dallas Johnson… it was a little bit of their motivation. <br><br>“This is just great. I might not seem that excited but I really am chuffed at how well they have played, particularly this year to win the premiership and confirm their place in history.<br><br>“It’s about being the best you can be and working hard to be that. This club has always held that as a core belief and the rewards have come thanks to the hard work.”<br><br>In what has been a sensational decade, 16 of the 17 clubs who took part at some stage played finals football (the Northern Eagles missed out) and eight different clubs won premierships. <br><br>An impressive 11 of the 17 clubs played in a grand final and there were seven different minor premiers. <br><br>Parramatta, gallant losers in this year’s decider, took out third position in the opening decade of the 21st century thanks to an impressive seven out of 10 finals campaigns, with two minor premierships (2001, 2005) and two runner-up finishes (2001, 2009).<br><br>Next on the list came the Sydney Roosters. The dominant team of the opening half of the decade, they won the 2002 title and 2004 minor premiership and finished runner-up a further three times in 2000, 2003 and 2004. Only a wooden spoon this year and a second-last placing in 2006 prevented the side from polling in the top three.<br><br>Rounding out the top five are St George Illawarra, who like the Eels couldn’t win a major title but who showed consistency by competing in seven of 10 finals series, claiming one minor premiership this year.<br><br>The 2004 premiers, the Bulldogs, and 2001 premiers Newcastle come next, followed by the Warriors (2002 minor premiers and runners-up), and then Cronulla and Penrith (2003 premiers).<br><br>Manly, despite missing three of the 10 seasons during the Northern Eagles years, performed strongly to place 11th thanks to a premiership in 2008 and a runner-up finish in 2007.<br><br>And although they won the 2005 premiership, the Wests Tigers’ inability to make any other finals series had them way down in 12th position.<br><br>The Cowboys finished on equal points but were relegated below the Tigers based on the fact they failed to win a title, while Canberra also finished on equal points but were pushed to 14th position as the Cowboys made a grand final appearance.<br><br>Being involved in just eight of the decade’s seasons hurt South Sydney, as did three wooden spoons, one second-last finish and two third-last finishes, as they barely held on to beat the three-season Gold Coast Titans and defunct Northern Eagles.<br><br>In terms of players playing in grand finals between 2000 and 2009, current South Sydney back-rower Michael Crocker topped the list, playing in half of the decade’s deciders at former clubs the Roosters and Melbourne. <br><br>A further 11 players (see below) played in four grand finals, 15 played in three while a massive 44 more players played in two.<br><br>Will the second decade of the century turn out to be as exciting and unpredictable? Only time will tell but the countdown to 2010 has already begun… bring it on!<br><br> <table x:str="" style="border-collapse: collapse; width: 346pt;" width="461" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><col style="width: 86pt;" width="114"> <col style="width: 59pt;" width="79"> <col style="width: 48pt;" width="64"> <col style="width: 57pt;" width="76"> <col style="width: 48pt;" width="64" span="2"> <tbody><tr style="height: 45.75pt;" height="61"> <td class="xl24" style="height: 45.75pt; width: 86pt;" width="114" height="61">TEAM NAME</td> <td class="xl25" style="width: 59pt;" width="79">LADDER POSITION POINTS</td> <td class="xl25" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">MINOR PREM. POINTS</td> <td class="xl25" style="width: 57pt;" width="76">RUNNER- UP POINTS</td> <td class="xl25" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">PREM. POINTS</td> <td class="xl25" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">TOTAL</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td class="xl26" style="height: 15.75pt; width: 86pt;" width="114" height="21"><st1:city w_x003a_st="on"><st1:place w_x003a_st="on">MELBOURNE</st1:place> </st1:city> </td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 59pt;" x:num="" width="79">111</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">9</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 57pt;" x:num="" width="76">4</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">10</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">134</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td class="xl26" style="height: 15.75pt; width: 86pt;" width="114" height="21"><st1:city w_x003a_st="on"><st1:place w_x003a_st="on">BRISBANE</st1:place> </st1:city> </td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 59pt;" x:num="" width="79">114</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">3</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 57pt;" width="76">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">10</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">127</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td class="xl26" style="height: 15.75pt; width: 86pt;" width="114" height="21"><st1:city w_x003a_st="on"><st1:place w_x003a_st="on">PARRAMATTA</st1:place> </st1:city> </td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 59pt;" x:num="" width="79">99</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">6</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 57pt;" x:num="" width="76">4</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">109</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td class="xl26" style="height: 15.75pt; width: 86pt;" width="114" height="21">ROOSTERS</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 59pt;" x:num="" width="79">93</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">3</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 57pt;" x:num="" width="76">6</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">5</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">107</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td class="xl26" style="height: 15.75pt; width: 86pt;" width="114" height="21">ST GEO ILLA</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 59pt;" x:num="" width="79">89</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">3</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 57pt;" width="76">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">92</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td class="xl26" style="height: 15.75pt; width: 86pt;" width="114" height="21">BULLDOGS</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 59pt;" x:num="" width="79">86</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 57pt;" width="76">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">5</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">91</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td class="xl26" style="height: 15.75pt; width: 86pt;" width="114" height="21"><st1:city w_x003a_st="on"><st1:place w_x003a_st="on">NEWCASTLE</st1:place> </st1:city> </td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 59pt;" x:num="" width="79">85</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 57pt;" width="76">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">5</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">90</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td class="xl26" style="height: 15.75pt; width: 86pt;" width="114" height="21">WARRIORS</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 59pt;" x:num="" width="79">76</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">3</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 57pt;" x:num="" width="76">2</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">81</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td class="xl26" style="height: 15.75pt; width: 86pt;" width="114" height="21">CRONULLA</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 59pt;" x:num="" width="79">74</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 57pt;" width="76">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">74</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td class="xl26" style="height: 15.75pt; width: 86pt;" width="114" height="21">PENRITH</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 59pt;" x:num="" width="79">64</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">3</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 57pt;" width="76">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">5</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">72</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td class="xl26" style="height: 15.75pt; width: 86pt;" width="114" height="21">MANLY</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 59pt;" x:num="" width="79">64</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 57pt;" x:num="" width="76">2</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">5</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">71</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td class="xl26" style="height: 15.75pt; width: 86pt;" width="114" height="21">WESTS TIGERS</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 59pt;" x:num="" width="79">64</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 57pt;" width="76">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">5</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">69</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td class="xl26" style="height: 15.75pt; width: 86pt;" width="114" height="21"><st1:place w_x003a_st="on">NORTH QLD</st1:place> </td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 59pt;" x:num="" width="79">67</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 57pt;" x:num="" width="76">2</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">69</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td class="xl26" style="height: 15.75pt; width: 86pt;" width="114" height="21"><st1:city w_x003a_st="on"><st1:place w_x003a_st="on">CANBERRA</st1:place> </st1:city> </td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 59pt;" x:num="" width="79">69</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 57pt;" width="76">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">69</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td class="xl26" style="height: 15.75pt; width: 86pt;" width="114" height="21">STH SYDNEY</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 59pt;" x:num="" width="79">28</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 57pt;" width="76">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">28</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td class="xl26" style="height: 15.75pt; width: 86pt;" width="114" height="21">GOLD COAST</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 59pt;" x:num="" width="79">20</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 57pt;" width="76">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">20</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 15.75pt;" height="21"> <td class="xl26" style="height: 15.75pt; width: 86pt;" width="114" height="21">NTHN EAGLES</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 59pt;" x:num="" width="79">15</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 57pt;" width="76">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" width="64">-</td> <td class="xl27" style="width: 48pt;" x:num="" width="64">15</td> </tr> </tbody></table><br><b>Finals Series Played</b><br>10 – Brisbane.<br>8 – Melbourne. <br>7 – Parramatta, St George Illawarra.<br>6 – Sydney Roosters, Newcastle, Canberra, Bulldogs.<br>5 – Cronulla, Warriors, Manly.<br>3 – Penrith, North Queensland.<br>1 – Wests Tigers, South Sydney, Gold Coast.<br>0 – Northern Eagles.<br><b><br>Multiple Grand Final Appearances 2000-2009 (Player)</b><br>5 – Michael Crocker (Roosters 2002, 2003, 2004, Melbourne 2007, 2008)<br><br>4 – Shannon Hegarty (Roosters 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004), Anthony Minichiello (Roosters 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004), Brad Fittler (Roosters 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004), Craig Fitzgibbon (Roosters 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004), Craig Wing (Roosters 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004), Billy Slater (Melbourne 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), Greg Inglis (Melbourne 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), Steve Turner (Melbourne 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), Cooper Cronk (Melbourne 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), Brett White (Melbourne 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), Dallas Johnson (Melbourne 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009).<br><br>3 – Ryan Cross (Roosters 2000, 2003, 2004), Peter Cusack (Roosters 2000, 2002, 2004), Luke Ricketson (Roosters 2000, 2002, 2003), Jamie Lyon (Parramatta 2001, Manly 2007, 2008), Justin Hodges (Roosters 2002, 2004, Brisbane 2006), Jason Cayless (Roosters 2002, 2003, 2004), Adrian Morley (Roosters 2002, 2003, 2004), Chris Flannery (Roosters 2002, 2003, 2004), Brett Finch (Roosters 2003, 2004, Melbourne 2009), Matt Geyer (Melbourne 2006, 2007, 2008), Cameron Smith (Melbourne 2006, 2007, 2009), Ryan Hoffman (Melbourne 2006, 2007, 2009), Adam Blair (Melbourne 2006, 2008, 2009), Jeremy Smith (Melbourne 2006, 2007, 2008), Jeff Lima (Melbourne 2007, 2008, 2009). <br><br>2 - Darren Lockyer (Brisbane 2000, 2006), Tonie Carroll (Brisbane 2000, 2006), Shane Webcke (Brisbane 2000, 2006), Dane Carlaw (Brisbane 2000, 2006), Brad Thorn (Brisbane 2000, 2006), Shaun Berrigan (Brisbane 2000, 2006), Luke Priddis (Brisbane 2000, Penrith 2003), Luke Phillips (Roosters 2000, 2002), Matt Sing (Roosters 2000, Cowboys 2005), Simon Bonetti (Roosters 2000, 2002), Bryan Fletcher (Roosters 2000, 2002), David Solomona (Roosters 2000, Parramatta 2001), Josh Perry (Newcastle 2001, Manly 2008), Brett Hodgson (Parramatta 2001, Wests Tigers 2005), Luke Burt (Parramatta 2001, 2009), Nathan Cayless (Parramatta 2001, 2009), Nathan Hindmarsh (Parramatta 2001, 2009), Andrew Ryan (Parramatta 2001, Bulldogs 2004), Andrew Lomu (Roosters 2002, 2003), PJ Marsh (Parramatta 2001, Warriors 2002), Kevin Campion (Brisbane 2000, Warriors 2002), Paul Whatuira (Penrith 2003, Wests Tigers 2005), Joe Galuvao (Penrith 2003, Parramatta 2009), Chris Walker (Roosters 2003, 2004), Ned Catic (Roosters 2003, 2004), Chad Robinson (Roosters 2003, 2004), Johnathan Thurston (Bulldogs 2004, Cowboys 2005), Matt King (Melbourne 2006, 2007), Antonio Kaufusi (Melbourne 2006, 2008), Ben Cross (Melbourne 2006, 2007), Israel Folau (Melbourne 2007, 2008), Anthony Quinn (Melbourne 2007, 2008), Brett Stewart (Manly 2007, 2008), Michael Robertson (Manly 2007, 2008), Steve Bell (Manly 2007, 2008), Steve Matai (Manly 2007, 2008), Matt Orford (Manly 2007, 2008), Jason King (Manly 2007, 2008), Brent Kite (Manly 2007, 2008), Anthony Watmough (Manly 2007, 2008), Glenn Stewart (Manly 2007, 2008), Mark Bryant (Manly 2007, 2008), Steve Menzies (Manly 2007, 2008), Scott Anderson (Melbourne 2008, 2009).<br>