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Storm Stat to Fix: Kick metres

Melbourne were perched in the top half of most statistical categories in 2020 as they finished an unprecedented season with the premiership trophy in their grasp.

There was one area where they ranked last, however, though it may have been a byproduct of their own dominance.

The Storm averaged the fewest metres per kick (24.4), with minor premiers Penrith (25.5) and the Warriors (25.6) just ahead.

St George Illawarra (29) and wooden spooners Brisbane (28.9) were the competition leaders in this regard - perhaps proving that struggling teams boasted higher kick-metre averages because they failed to make an impact carrying the ball in yardage.

That Melbourne averaged the second-most metres per run (9.2) during the regular season lends credence to the theory that they didn't kick as far on average because they had often already forced their way into opposition territory by the time the last tackle came around.

However, Parramatta - who finished third before losing to the Storm in the second week of the finals - averaged the most metres per carry (9.5) and still ranked eighth for kick metres (26.5).

Halfback Jahrome Hughes, who was Melbourne chief kicker in general play with 114 nudges, averaged 23.7m per kick.

Analysing the Storm's 2021 draw

That was well short of what the main kickers in other top-four teams produced, with Parramatta's Mitchell Moses (29.4), Penrith's Nathan Cleary (28.2) and Rooster Kyle Flanagan (31.2) managing strong numbers despite their sides also being dominant.

Hughes's halves partner Cameron Munster had 98 kicks in the regular season for an average gain of 26.2m. Hooker Cameron Smith was the go-to guy for distance as he averaged 29.6m from his 71 kicks.

But with Smith's playing future uncertain, Hughes or Munster may have to step up and kick longer in 2021.