Felise Kaufusi looks on during a Melbourne Storm training session at Gosch's Paddock in Melbourne, Tuesday, September 10, 2019. (AAP Image/Scott Barbour) NO ARCHIVING
Felise Kaufusi looks on during a Melbourne Storm training session at Gosch's Paddock in Melbourne, Tuesday, September 10, 2019. (AAP Image/Scott Barbour) NO ARCHIVING

Bundy’s Felise in statistically best team of modern era

LEAGUE: Bundaberg’s Felise Kaufusi and the Melbourne Storm have produced one of the greatest statistical seasons in years as the club heads towards this year’s finals.

The Storm have lost four times this season by a combined total of eight points.

Not since St George Illawarra went through the 1959 season undefeated has the game seen such consistent and concerted dominance.

Storm captain Smith has been at the heart of it, his form prompting the inevitable question about if he can continue beyond 2020, when his current contract is due to expire.

“I think the most impressive thing for the season — and I don’t know if it has been reported on much — those four losses, we lost by a combined total of eight points,” Smith said.

“We lost our first game by one (point) — golden point against the Roosters. Then we got beat by two (points) against Cronulla. Then we got beat by one point in golden point by Manly.

“Then we got beat by four against Canberra. The stats say we’re a very consistent footy side, that’s what it said. In the losses we have had, there hasn’t been a blowout and we have been in the match right up to our earholes.”

Smith is reluctant to declare it the best regular season he has been involved with at the Storm. Yet the statistics speak for themselves.

After 24 games, they boasted the best attack and best defence in the competition. They conceded 63 less points than any other team.

Remarkably, they won 11 of their 12 games away from AAMI Park.

“We had a look at a couple of other teams who have played well for the entire season leading into the last round and it was the ‘07 Storm and ‘17 Storm.

“They had some pretty good stats but this team has done some really good things. As minor premiers we had the best attack as far as points scored and the best defence for points conceded.

But now the goal is to bring the title back to Melbourne, like the side did in 2017.

“I just think if we can bring our best to this finals series than we are going to be a very competitive football side. We played the Roosters twice this year for one win each, we have beaten Canberra, we have beaten Manly, we have beaten Parramatta.

“All the sides in this finals series we have had a victory against. There is nothing that we are coming into this finals series with any fear or doubt.

The Storm, with Kaufusi named in the second row, will take on Canberra at AAMI Park tomorrow night at 5.40pm. The winner goes through to the preliminary final in two weeks time.



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