Another Grand Final, another Melbourne Storm Premiership. That could be the grim reality come Sunday night after the 80 minutes. Despite the insane year we have had, Melbourne being in a Grand Final almost feels like the most normal thing to happen in 2020.
The boys from AFL town have become the most successful club of the new millennium, benefiting from an unbelievable system in which supremo Coach Craig Bellamy has built a reputation of turning no hopers into vital Premiership puzzle pieces.
Guys like Bryan Norrie, Jaiman Lowe and Sisa Waqa really had no right to win an NRL Title. Only at Melbourne I suppose. This weekend, Brenko Lee could complete this barber shop quartet. Miracles do happen.
But these blokes...well I guess Bellamy couldn’t weave his magic on these fellas.
Then again, he never stood a chance really.
George Rose (2014) – 9 Games
If you don’t love George Rose, then please show yourself out.
Big Georgie Rose was and will forever remain a Rugby League Icon. Who would be carved into the Mt Rushmore of Rugby League is always a fun discussion, but goddam if George Rose doesn’t get a start then this is not a world I want to live in.
Alright I’ll settle down, but I mean come on, its George Freakin Rose. You can’t blame me.
The big cuddly bear was far more famous for his career at Manly, where he became one of the most popular players of modern day NRL. However, the Prop Forward appears in the Storm Set Of Six, due to his rather underwhelming stint in Melbourne.
Rose didn’t last long in Victoria, a blink and you’ll miss it tenure if you will. Rumour has it, his muscles still haven’t recovered from the famously brutal Bellamy pre-season he endured.
You ruined a good man Craig.
Robbie Rochow (2010-2011, 2017) – 3 Games
Brace yourself, this gets weird fast.
Robbie Rochow played just 2 games in his first stint on the back of Melbourne’s 2009 Grand Final triumph. With guns like Rochow, I now understand why Melbourne went over the salary cap in 2010.
Somehow, the bloke managed to halve his previous total, making only 1 solitary appearance for the Storm in his second tenure.
So in 2 stints, 8 years apart, Robbie played just 3 games for Melbourne Storm. WHAT!!!! How does that happen? I’ve got some theories but I can’t decide which is the best...
The Storm recruitment manager pranked Bellamy with a list of potential recruits for the 2017 season...but actually it was the same 2009 list. Cheeky bastards.
Rochow rang Bellamy and agreed to pay him instead just for another crack.
At the 2016 Mad Monday, Bellamy played blindfolded drunk darts, and every number represented a different mediocre player they must resign for 2017.
All of the above
You be the judge.
Ben Roberts (2014) – 18 Games, 2 Tries, 3 Goals
Craig Bellamy is a weird guy, and he makes strange decisions. He might be the greatest coach of all time, but still, he is a mad scientist at heart.
Perhaps his oddest move at the recruiting table, was his signing of comically bad halfback Ben Roberts in 2014. Roberts made a solid living for himself in Rugby League, having represented both NZ and Samoa, and featured at the Bulldogs and Eels before landing in Melbourne.
The timing of his move to Melbourne, is what made it such a puzzling decision. Roberts was handed a lifeline by the Storm in 2014, after winning back-to-back wooden spoons at Parramatta. Talk about going from 0 to 100. I hope he went straight home and bought a lotto ticket.
It’s no wonder 2014 was Melbourne’s worst year under Bellamy, with Roberts leading the Storm to a shocking first round finals exit.
Maurice Blair (2011-2013) – 36 Games, 13 Tries, 1 Goal
Another one subconsciously pencilled in before The SET OF SIX ever became a beautiful reality, Maurice Blair is another trooper whose inclusion can be solely attributed to the name. Crazy ol’ Maurice aye.
Oh well I guess I better mention something about his footy career. The great Maurice played for three clubs in his time: Penrith, Melbourne and Gold Coast – in that order, and ummm I’m scratching my head for something else to say. My mind is at a blank. Sort of what is was like to watch him play footy.
Now if I haven’t buried him enough already, please enjoy this wonderful video of rugby league hitman Corey Payne sending Blair to la la land.
Did You Know: Maurice Blair was the first Maurice, since Maurice Bergman who played for Parramatta in 1959?
Pat Kaufusi (2018-2019) – 3 Games
Patrick Kaufusi was the third of three brothers to line-up in the most famous purple shirt since Jeff the Wiggle donned the purple skivvy.
Sadly, he was also the worst. By a long long way.
When you’re a by the numbers middle forward, you need to have something special about you. A bit of flair or finesse would have helped Pat in leaps and bounds. You especially need to bring something unique to the table when you’re trying to stand out against two older brothers, both of whom have represented Queensland and Australia.
In the end, there was only so much juice the Kaufusi family could produce, and Pat was left with very little.
He is the Danny DeVito to his brothers’ Arnold Schwarzenegger like in the cult classic movie ‘Twins’, except if Michael Douglas also starred making it ‘Triplets’.
Look it up, you’ll get what I mean.
Ryley Jacks (2017-2018, 2020) – 35 Games, 7 Tries
God give me strength, it’s time to talk about Ryley Jacks.
I could not find a current Panthers player who was mediocre enough to include in their SET OF SIX. However, for Melbourne there is no such luck.
Two words: Ryley Jacks.
From the hipster spelling of Ryley, to his greatest career achievement to date being either representing Canada or winning the wooden spoon at Gold Goast in 2019 – take your pick, and everything between. This guy just oozes mediocrity.
This isn’t even the worst of it though.
Jacks finds himself in the 21 man squad this weekend for the Grand Final, sure to be ruled out 24 hours before the game. Congrats to you Ryley but you have inadvertently committed a major injustice.
You have stolen a GF squad spot from the Prince Of Rugby League, Cooper Johns.
THIS WILL NOT STAND AND HOW DARE YOU.
Did we miss anyone out?
Who would be in your Mediocre Storm Set of Six?
Next up…yep another secret, even I don’t know whose next.
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