As mentioned above, the Storm beat the Warriors 32-14 on ANZAC Day at AAMI Park in Round 8 earlier this season. It was a very tight affair until late in the match, when Warriors errors handed the Storm the ascendancy. Both teams enjoyed high completion rates (80 per cent Melbourne, 82 per cent Warriors) but the penalties (7-4 Melbourne) and line-breaks (4-2 Melbourne) stats proved most telling.
The two sides also played out a thrilling and memorable Preliminary Final last year, which the Warriors won in a 20-12 upset at AAMI Park.
Most experts believed Melbourne would breeze past their cross-Tasman rivals and march into the grand final… but the Warriors would not be denied. Shaun Johnson starred for the visitors in what then-coach Ivan Cleary described as a “special” effort. The Warriors won on the back of three tries to two, and a 4-1 penalty count.