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Storm prop Jesse Bromwich.

Melbourne haven't missed the finals since his rookie year of 2010 but veteran prop Jesse Bromwich has still been surprised with how well the Storm have started the season.

The loss of Billy Slater and Ryan Hoffman to retirement and Tim Glasby in the off-season, coupled with some indifferent trial form, had many predicting last year's runners-up as big sliders in 2019.

But they are the only team unbeaten after four rounds following their 18-16 triumph over the Bulldogs at AAMI Park on Sunday.

Bromwich conceded he did not expect the new-look team to come together so quickly over the opening month of their Telstra Premiership campaign.

"It probably has been a bit of a nice surprise actually," Bromwich said at Melbourne's recovery session on Monday.

"Our trials weren’t perfect, but we haven’t trialled well in the last few years if you ask me.

Match Highlights: Storm v Bulldogs

"I wasn’t sure how we were going to go at the start of the season. Once we started the year we started playing good footy straight away."

The Storm have had plenty of experience at sitting pretty at the top of the NRL ladder over the last few years, but it's certainly not something they take for granted as it comes with added pressure.

"It's been like that for a while now at this club," the Storm vice-captain noted when asked whether they will now have a target on their back because they sit on top of the ladder.

"Ever since I have come the club has been quite successful and it's always been that way and you do kind of get used to it over a long time.

"But the Roosters are the premiers from last year and the same thing will be happening to them.

"It's quite hard these days to get up for every game, but I am sure teams get up when they play the Melbourne Storm."

Storm captain Cameron Smith.
Storm captain Cameron Smith. ©Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/NRL Photos

Bromwich and the Storm now turn their attention to Townsville for Friday's tricky clash against the Cowboys, who suffered a disappointing 30-12 loss to the Raiders last Saturday.

Melbourne's preparations have hit a hurdle with winger Suliasi Vunivalu facing a one-match ban for dangerous contact over an incident involving Nick Meaney if he takes an early plea or two matches if he fights it at the judiciary and loses.

"They had a loss on the weekend, but you look at their team on paper and they have got some great players," Bromwich said.

"I’ve got some great mates up there that played down here in Melbourne for a long time, so I know those boys will be getting up for this weekend's game."

Apart from grabbing a fifth consecutive win the Storm will also be hoping their skipper Cameron Smith can surpass Hazem El Masri's all-time pointscoring record of 2418 points.

Smith's three goals against the Bulldogs on Sunday took him to 2416 career points.


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