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The Storm shut down the Eels in the semi-final.

Melbourne's key to dominating the ruck could be their ability to limit the opposition's post-contact metres.

Long regarded among the best at controlling tempo, the Storm conceded the fewest PCM per match (405m) and second-least per carry (2.41m) across the competition in 2019.

Quickly halting the momentum of rival players no doubt helped the runaway minor premiers pin more attackers on their backs, earning them the right to lay on the tackled man slightly longer.

The Storm are renowned - and heavily criticised - for their wrestling in defence and the tactics might be what sets them apart in cutting down PCM.

Craig Bellamy's side also ranked in the top three for the lowest number of PCM conceded per match (460) and per carry (2.80) last year.

Limiting the opposition's PCM had a strong correlation to success in 2019, with grand finalists the Roosters (438) and Raiders (437) ranking third and fourth-best respectively in the per match category.

It should be noted that Melbourne (52.1%) and Canberra (51.2%), in particular, were aided by having the highest possession rates, lessening their overall defensive workloads.

Seventh-placed Cronulla - who would have finished fourth had their goal-kicking been perfect - conceded the second-fewest PCM per match (427) and per carry (2.46).

South Sydney (460, 11th least) and Manly (457, 9th) were the only finalists that ranked in the bottom half of the per match chart.

Wooden spooners the Titans (502 per match, 2.74 per carry) and 12th-placed Canterbury (512 per match, 2.69 per carry) gave away the most PCM in both categories. 


The Storm were potent when running the ball as well, racking up the second-most PCM per match (481) behind the Wests Tigers (487).

Canberra (2.69), the Roosters (2.66) and Melbourne (2.65) ranked third, fourth and fifth for PCM gained per carry.

In terms of individuals, Broncos prop Payne Haas dethroned Cowboys bulldozer Jason Taumalolo as the NRL's PCM king with 1438 in total (71.9 per match).

Haas was followed by Taumalolo (68.3), Warriors winger Ken Maumalo (64.9) and Knights enforcer David Klemmer (63).

Manly front-rower Addin Fonua-Blake led the way for PCM per run at an average of 4.25.

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