Melbourne Storm are only ten weeks away from winning the Minor Premiership as the NRL enters round fifteen this weekend.
The Storm are top of the NRL table on twenty four point with the Roosters and Sharks four points behind on twenty points each. The Dragons, Broncos, Sea Eagles and Cowboys or sit on eighteen points with the Panthers rounding out the top eight on fourteen points.
If the NRL Betting is anything to go by, William Hill currently have Melbourne Storm as favourites to win the minor premiership with the Roosters and Broncos not far behind.
The Storm are also currently backed to take out the 2017 NRL Premiership. With the Roosters and Broncos the only teams within coo-ee at the point in time.
Why are the Storm favourites to take out both the minor and NRL Premiership? Well captain obvious would tell you that they are four points ahead of the pack so of course they are going to be favourites. But surely there must be more to their favouritism?
Lets look at the main Storm players also known as the big three themselves Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith. There is a big chance this year will be the last time these players all play together at the Melbourne Storm. It could also be their last chance to win a another Premiership together before they retire or move on.
It has been widely reported in the media the Cooper Cronk is looking to relocate back to Sydney. Cronk has been in negotiations with several Sydney based NRL clubs. Cronk is looking to move as his Fiancee Tara Rushton works at Fox Sports in Sydney.
Slater and Smith are also heading towards the twilight of their careers. Slater has only just returned to the NRL after suffering from a serious shoulder injury early last year. So if there was ever a time for the trio to notch up one last premiership 2017 is the year.
The Storm have no easy run home by any means. Over the next three weeks they will play the Cowboys where both teams will be missing players due to State of Origin, the Roosters who currently sit in second place and have also found their mojo in recent weeks. Then the Storm meet the Broncos who are also in the top eight.
After playing the Eels the Storm have a bye and then finish off by playing the Raiders twice along with Manly, Rabittohs and Newcastle. For good measure the Storm will also play the Roosters again in round 23. If the Storm can win the next three games they are in the box seat to rap up the minor premiership and going all the way to the Grand final.