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20 Sep 2017 1:37
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Storm's 20 wins no title guarantee

    Melbourne have become just the 10th team in NRL history to rack up 20 wins in a season.

    - article from

    Melbourne may have reached the magical 20-win mark but history says that's far from an NRL title guarantee.

    The Storm enter the finals series as prohibitive $1.85 title favourites after dominating to become just the 10th team to rack up 20 wins in a single season.

    However, of the six teams who remain in the history books for having passed the coveted mark, only two converted it into premierships.

    Manly in 1983, Parramatta in 2001 and both Manly and Canberra in 1995 all notched 20 victories but fell in the finals, according to Fox Sports Stats.

    Only super coach Jack Gibson's 1982 Parramatta and 1975 Eastern Suburbs Roosters sides achieved the feat and went on to win the grand final.

    Another three teams -- Melbourne in 2006 and 2007 and Canterbury in 2002 - reached 20 wins but were stripped of points or premierships for salary cap cheating.

    "We're not going into this week or this finals campaign thinking 'who are we going to meet in the grand final?' or 'who's going to beat us for this premiership?' It's not about that at all," says Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith.

    "To have 20 wins in this competition, it's a pretty remarkable achievement. We know we've got a talented football side.

    "We've got a very capable football side and the task now is to go out and play our best football for the remaining four weeks."

    The Storm can advance to within one game of a second successive grand final appearance with victory over Parramatta at AAMI Park on Saturday afternoon.

    While Craig Bellamy's 2017 Storm team have strong claims to being one of the greatest club sides of all time, it will count for little unless they can lift the Provan-Summons Trophy on the first Sunday in October.

    Smith is wary from the experience of having been involved in Storm sides in 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2016 which finished first but were defeated during the finals or grand final.

    "We're not thinking too far down the track, we're not thinking about our win-loss ratio because it won't help us in the finals," Smith said.

    "We're in a new competition now. Whoever is the best team over the next month will win the premiership, there's no doubt about.

    "I've learnt from experience both winning and losing."


    Sides which have cracked 20 wins during an NRL season

    * Manly 1983 - 22 wins - lost to Parramatta in grand final

    * Melbourne 2007 - 21 wins - stripped of premiership and minor premiership for salary cap cheating

    * Eastern Suburbs 1975 - 20 wins - beat St George in grand final

    * Parramatta 1982 - 21 wins - beat Manly in grand final

    2001 - 20 wins - lost to Newcastle in grand final

    * Manly 1995 - 20 wins - lost to Sydney Bulldogs in grand final

    * Canberra 1995 - 20 wins - lost to Sydney Bulldogs in preliminary final

    * Parramatta 2001 - 20 wins - lost to Newcastle in grand final

    * Canterbury 2002 - 20 wins - stripped of all points for salary cap cheating

    * Melbourne 2006 - 20 wins - lost to Brisbane in grand final, stripped of minor premiership for salary cap cheating

    * Melbourne 2017 - 20 wins - ?


    © 2017 NZN, NZCity

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