Wests Tigers v Storm: Five key points
Smith salutes, Bellamy notches another record and Webster stays grounded as the Storm continue their hot start to 2017.
Smith's left boot the difference again
Last week Storm skipper Cameron Smith won the game with a clutch conversion to sink the Broncos at the death. This week, he used his lethal left boot to turn the game on its head with a crucial 40/20 early in the second half. The maestro had attempted one a couple of sets earlier but made no mistake the second time around as he launched a raking kick from just inside the 40 to give his side much-needed field position. Unsurprisingly, the Storm scored from the ensuing set through Young Tonumaipea to give them the momentum they needed to go on and win the game.
Nofoaluma not winging it anymore
Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma continues to firm as one of the best wingers in the competition after another stellar showing against the Storm. Nofoaluma has been one of the most improved players in the NRL over the past 12 months and had a terrific battle with former teammate Josh Addo-Carr on Sunday, with the pair hard to split after a terrific tussle on the flank. Nofoaluma broke 12 tackles to take his season tally to 35 (best in the NRL) while he added three offloads to join Brenko Lee at the top of the leaderboard with 14 for the year.
Bellamy confirms master-coach status
Melbourne's win saw Craig Bellamy become just the fifth coach to record 250 wins in the NRL, joining Wayne Bennett, Tim Sheens, Brian Smith and Bob Fulton to have reached the milestone. It's an incredible achievement with Bellamy taking just 372 games to get there courtesy of a 67.2 per cent winning record as coach. He's unlikely to catch Bennett's record for most wins overall, but that won't stop Bellamy from going down as one of the greatest coaches of all time.
Webster happy to coach from the sideline
Interim Wests Tigers coach Andrew Webster is still searching for his first win in the NRL, but the rookie mentor showed he's not afraid to go away from the norm by operating from the sidelines.
Most coaches prefer to watch games from the comfort of the box, but Webster followed in the footsteps of Raiders counterpart Ricky Stuart and chose to do his job from the bench.
"I was thinking about going in the box but it's not my style," he said.
"In lower grades I've always been on the sideline. It's something I enjoy being around the boys and feeling their energy, and you just feel like you're involved in the game.
"I know you get a better view from up there, but you've got good staff around you who can help you with that and tell you what they're seeing."
Perfect round for the Storm
While some of us continue to slide further and further down tipping ladders, the Melbourne Storm showed it is possible to have a perfect round after they tasted victory in all grades this weekend. Wins in the NRL and NYC were backed up by victories to their feeder teams the Easts Tigers and Sunshine Coast Falcons in the Intrust Super Cup. To cap off a dream weekend, the Sunshine Coast Lightning – Melbourne's affiliate team in the Super Netball – downed the West Coast Fever 66-49. The Storm are unbeaten in both the NRL and NYC and are leading the Club Championship after four rounds.