What They Were Saying: Before the Melbourne Storm scandal


Welcome to our new off-season series – What They Were Saying. A look back and some of the quotes and thoughts way back when.

In our first installment, we take a look back at the mighty Melbourne Storm in the years leading into that scandalous salary cap saga – 2007 to 2010. 


What They Were Saying: Before the Melbourne Storm scandal


September 2007 – Black belt John Donehue is revealed as the wrestling coach behind the Storm
“There are several aspects of wrestling that could be applied to (rugby league) training. Tackling styles, arm locks, ways of protecting the football and methods of slowing down the play-the-ball area are all vital parts of the game that can be enhanced. I concentrate on upper-body wrestling techniques in terms of tying up the guy who has got the ball and turning him over on to his back in defence. I also make sure they understand the finer points of body positioning before they go in to tackle and different ways to bring people down to the ground and control them once there.”



June 2008 – Hunter Sports High coach Steve Dunn on the Greg Inglis State of Origin eligibility fiasco
“There was some talk the other day that he was actually brought to Queensland before his 16th birthday but I was coach of the team [Hunter]. He played for us at 16, he’s a Blue.”

August 2009 – CEO Brian Waldron after the club stood Greg Inglis down for alledgedly assaulting his girlfriend
“The Melbourne Storm is vehemently opposed to any situation that in any way endangers the health, safety and wellbeing of any woman. The club has taken a strong stance in the past towards behaviour of this type and will continue to do so in the future. As such this decision is made in the best interests of all parties concerned.”

October 2007 – A shocked Cameron Smith speaking about Cooper Cronk’s successful shift into the halves
“I hadn’t seen him play halfback at all before last season. I remember when we played together at Norths [QLD], he played a bit of centre, fullback, five-eighth and just about everywhere else except halfback. Then at the Storm, he had a handful of games as a utility – mostly just filling in at hooker or five-eighth.”

November 2007 – Billy Slater speaking about getting his premiership tattoo after winning the ’07 decider
“Mine is on the inside of my bicep – Storm ’07, with a lightning bolt – and it bloody hurt. You hear of blokes like Andrew Ettingshausen and Robert Harvey in AFL who play 20 years and never get to taste a premiership victory. So I was always going to get a tattoo as a lasting memory. I hope there’s plenty more premierships to come, but I think I’ll just update the numbers from now on.”



October 2008 – Cooper Cronk ahead of the grand final against Manly (which they’d lost 40-0)
“There is no doubt this is a bigger challenge than what we faced last year. They are a better team and we have had some issues to confront. But the injuries and suspensions are not something that worry us. As a team whoever starts or comes off the bench we know they will do a good job because they understand the expectations, standards, core values that come with wearing the Storm jumper. They might not be regarded as superstars, but we know they will run hard, tackle hard and have a crack.”



October 2009 – Coach Craig Bellamy reacts as Storm win grand final against Parramatta
“Whether we won or not, I couldn’t have been prouder of them. To make four Grand Finals in a row has been a huge effort. This is the best feeling I’ve had as a coach. I know we were favourites tonight but with the inexperience in our team there as always a chance we could get stage-struck. In 2007 we went through the minor premiership pretty easily. There were a lot of unknowns to tonight.”


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