Premiership hangovers do not only affect AFL teams, such as the Western Bulldogs, who by the way, have broken their Toyota 2018 AFL Premiership competition duck with a sold win over the Essendon Bombers in Round 3, but they can also be an issue for NRL teams as well, as evidenced by the performance through the first five rounds of the Telstra 2018 NRL Premiership competition.
As an aside, the reigning AFL premier Richmond Tigers do not look to be slumping, but they have a fixture in 2018 that almost appears handpicked to be the softest in the competition.
Back to the NRL, the Melbourne Storm is not having the sort of start to their campaign that might have been expected, given the dominance they displayed last season.
Melbourne currently ranks ninth out of the 16 sides in the NRL. They have won just two games against three losses. The most recent bad fortune to come the Storms’ way was an 11 – 10 loss to the Wests Tigers.
The Storm finds itself below Manly, Newcastle Gold Coast, Wests and the Warriors.
Melbourne has been one of the most consistent sides in the NRL for quite some time. They only needed a few more games to make it 100 rounds inside the top eight. That run dates back to June of 2014.
Nothing like a bit of parity and role reversal to liven up the proceedings.
This year’s NRL features five of last year’s bottom eight now in finals playing position, even though it might be getting ahead of the game a bit to say such a thing after five rounds of a 25 round fixture.
If it is not bad enough to lose to the Tigers once, the Storm has managed to do it twice. At least the Storm has the Tigers behind them for 2018.