Depth key as Storm try to break 25-year premiers hoodoo: Bromwich
Jesse Bromwich has hailed the depth in Melbourne's squad as they gear up for the run into the finals and a chance to create history by becoming the first team to defend their premiership in a quarter of a century.
The Storm fielded a team full of youngsters last round with Jahrome Hughes, Brodie Croft, Ryley Jacks and Brandon Smith combining to beat the Sea Eagles 14-13 at Lottoland.
They are well placed in second spot as they try to become the first team since the 1993 Brisbane Broncos to win back-to-back premierships.
And with the Craig Bellamy-coached side winning six in a row despite missing most of their first-choice backline to State of Origin duty - including Billy Slater, Will Chambers, Josh Addo-Carr and Cameron Munster - the Storm suddenly have a pool of players who can handle the Telstra Premiership arena.
"The depth at this club at the moment is really good," Bromwich said.
"You just look at the six weeks we've had, and all the young boys who have been in there. For me, I just look to the training paddock, and that's where you notice it the most. They will be one team doing all the main skills on one side, and the talent on the other side is good. They prepare us for games and do a great job."
Bromwich said the likes of Hughes, Croft and Jacks would learn invaluable lessons from Storm skipper Cameron Smith on how to influence tight games.
"We had a lot of young boys in there, and I don't know if they've been involved in many close games," he said.
"But to learn how to close games out, and to watch guys closely like Cameron Smith and the way he ices games can only be good for the club and for their careers."
Hughes has been the Storm's form player during the Origin period but faces a drop to the Intrust Super Cup to make way for Slater.
Bromwich made a return from back-to-back hamstring injuries which has limited his appearance to 10 games in 2018.
"It's been very frustrating," he said. "It's the first time in my career having to deal with back-to-back injuries.
"I didn't realise how much it took a toll on you mentally, not being out there with the boys, and training and just trying to be patient with your injuries is quite tough to do.
"I think it is round 19 - for me it feels like round 23. Hopefully, I can string a few games together and play good footy for the club."
Melbourne face a tough assignment in Auckland on Sunday against the Warriors, who are coming off an emphatic win over Brisbane.