Grinding win a good sign for Storm
Storm lock Dale Finucane was pleased not only with Melbourne's win over the Drgons on Monday night, but also the way in which his side did it.
Finucane said the Storm's ability to knuckle down and work hard for the 18-16 result impressed him the most.
"We were pleased with the way we won. It was a really grinding game obviously, and the score reflected that," Finucane said.
"I thought defensively we were pretty good, I think there's a few areas in attack we could fix up, but overall, happy with the win in Round 1."
It wasn't all smooth sailing for Melbourne, who went down 10-0 inside the first 15 minutes after allowing what Craig Bellamy labelled as "soft tries".
But those tries ended up just being minor blips in an otherwise resolute defensive effort, one that Finucane said was synonymous with the Victorian side.
"I think having confidence in your defence is a really big thing, and that's something we worked on really hard in the pre-season," he said.
"I think in the past, and obviously now, our defence has been a really big part of the Melbourne Storm, and that showed on the weekend."
The match was also notable for the return of Billy Slater after nine months on the sideline, and Finucane said the star fullback's organisation at the back was a key factor in the win.
"He's a really good talker… he offers that communication and experience that he's got, so that's probably one of the biggest things he brings [to the side]," Finucane said.
The Storm lock admitted he'd have a tough personal battle on his hands against Gold Coast Titans star Greg Bird on Sunday night, following Bird's fantastic Round 1 performance against Newcastle.
"He played really well for them, and it seemed like he was playing that sort of roving lock role, a little bit of ball playing mixed with some of the tough stuff as well, so they'll be quite hard to contain," Finucane said.
The Storm will be hoping for a huge crowd on Sunday night at AAMI Park, as all kids under 15 will get into the match for free.