Melbourne Storm has beaten both of last year’s NRL grand finalists in statement wins

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Melbourne Storm has notched victories over both of last year’s grant finalists through the opening five weeks in vastly different fashion, giving coach Craig Bellamy scope to know his team can win in enough ways to be a contender again.

In the aftermath of his team’s stunning come-from-behind 34-32 win over the Broncos on Thursday night, Bellamy declared he was more a fan of the gritty defensive effort that helped his team take down reigning premiers Penrith 8-0 in the opening round of the season.

But after “one of the strangest games I’ve ever seen or been involved in”, with 11 tries scored between the two teams and the Storm coming from eight points down to hold an eight-point lead before finally winning by two, Bellamy said more consistency in defence would be the key to success this season.

“We had Penrith round 1 down here and won 8-0 and we beat the other grand finalists 34-32. Like that’s a fair discrepancy there between the other games we played and the scores,” he said.

“It’s nice that we’ve won some close games but I much prefer the 8-0 to 34-32, so hopefully we can fix our defence up a little bit and get back to that.

“I would like to be able to pick which one we were going to come up with each night and then you can sort of have a bit more tactics around that.

“You just rather know that you’re gonna hang in there and be consistent with the things we are doing. We’ve been a bit inconsistent even though we’ve fought and that’s been great.

“When we’ve got behind, we’ve fought to get back in front, and (when) we’ve been in front we’re sort of, I don’t know if we get a little bit overconfident, I’m not sure.

“But it’s nice to be able to win games like that, but let’s say I’d rather be winning 8-0 than winning 34-32.”

Bellamy said star halfback Jahrome Hughes, who scored the game-sealing try and set up two others, had a “point to prove” after missing the previous week’s loss to Newcastle through suspension after a collision with a referee that the coach described as a “tough” call.

Melbourne was also sparked by the return of gun playmaker Cameron Munster, who impressed the coach with his first game of the season having battled a frustrating groin injury, with expectations more training and games will only make him better.

“I thought he was good actually, I thought he was really good. I’ll give him B-plus perhaps, not an A,” Bellamy said.

“He didn’t do anything off the top of his head too much and I thought he defended well.

“Some of his kicks probably weren’t that great but I thought he defended really well and he came up with the right options at the right time.

“You’d like to think now that he’s going to just get better with a bit more match fitness, bit more training.

“He played outside Shawn (Blore) tonight and he hasn’t played with him. He hasn’t trained much with him, so you’d like to think that combination is going to get even better.”

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