Storm celebrate a try against the Warriors on Anzac Day.

Focus back on NRL for league leaders

After fulfilling their substantial share of representative duties, the league-leading Melbourne Storm are ready to continue their fast start to the NRL season as they sit four points clear at the top of the table.

A whopping total of 18 Storm players featured across the six games but Melbourne are adamant they need to re-focus quickly ahead of their clash against the Gold Coast Titans as part of this week's double header at Suncorp Stadium.

While they sit comfortably atop the ladder with breathing room to enjoy, forward Tim Glasby asserts his side hasn't separated themselves from the rest of the competition. 

"Definitely not, there's not a huge gap between us or anyone else," Glasby said. "This competition is so close, any team can beat any team on their day." 

In a bitter blow, young Storm duo Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Christian Welch will spend time on the sidelines, with Welch ruled out for the remainder of the season after a devastating knee injury. Star prop Jesse Bromwich will also sit out the Storm's next two games with a club-imposed suspension. 

On the bright side Melbourne will soon welcome back Tohu Harris after impressive outings for the Sunshine Coast Falcons in the Queensland Intrust Cup.

"Welch has been playing really good footy and to see him miss the rest of the year is really disappointing," Glasby said. "Nelson's a big blow as well. He's been playing really great footy but unfortunately he [missed] out on the test and a couple of games for us as well. 

"It's good to see him [Tohu] back. Hopefully we can get him back sooner rather than later."

 


While coach Craig Bellamy's side hold an impressive 8-1 record with the stingiest defence in the competition, the perfection-chasing Storm are never ones to rest on their laurels. 

After coughing up some uncharacteristic sloppy turnovers earlier in the season, Melbourne lifted their game to produce high completion rates in consecutive wins over the Sea Eagles, Warriors and Dragons.

"We certainly spoke about it, not just [before] the Manly game but the Sharks game," Glasby said. "We spoke about it, had a real emphasis on it at training and at the game as well. It's definitely something we've wanted to improve on and we've done that the last couple of games."

Melbourne have held significant leads in several matches this year but allowed the opposition to creep back into the match. In a top-of-the-table affair at Wollongong, the Storm lead 34-4 with 25 minutes remaining before the Dragons fought back and narrowed the gap to 34-22.

"We need to focus on icing the games at the end and finishing strong," Glasby said. "It'll certainly be something we'll look at for the next few weeks."

While there's still plenty to work on, one exciting sign is the Storm's forming combination in the electric back three trio of Billy Slater, Josh Addo-Carr and Suliasi Vunivalu. They exploded to connect for Melbourne's first four tries and take a commanding 22-0 lead after 15 minutes against St George-Illawarra. 

Slater's form has him in line for Origin selection, while Addo-Carr and Vunivalu shone on the big stage for the City and Fijian sides, respectively, on the weekend. 

"Bill only came back in Round 3 and he's playing some great footy, Suli is picking up where he left off last year and Josh has just slotted really well into the team," Glasby said. "They're going really well and [being] in the middle I really appreciate what they're doing out wide. 

"They were great, all three of them [against the Dragons]. That's the great thing about those players, they've got a lot of strength, speed and skill. To have them there to finish off our plays is really handy."