When it comes to matters Melbourne Storm, Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney has more knowledge than most about what makes the club the NRL’s benchmark.
As a player he made 139 appearances for the Storm from 1999-2004, winning a premiership with them in their second season in the competition in 1999.
In the latter stages of his career he played alongside players who went on to be ranked among the game’s best – all 300-gamers – Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Ryan Hoffman as well as Glenn Lazarus and Tawera Nikau.
After ending his playing career with a season at Hull FC in 2005, Kearney moved straight into the coaching ranks as an assistant with Craig Bellamy.
Since entering the competition, the Storm have achieved unmatched success.
They’ve played in the grand final nine times, winning five times (two titles subsequently stripped). Apart from 2010 when they lost all their points over salary cap breaches, they have failed to finish in the top eight just twice in 20 campaigns. They’ve made the top four 13 times, have won the minor premiership six times (three seasons straight in 2006, 2007 and 2008) and are top of the ladder again heading into this weekend’s clash against the Vodafone Warriors at Mount Smart Stadium.
They have a winning percentage of 65.49% and have appeared in almost 50 finals matches.
So heading into Saturday’s 44th encounter between to the Vodafone Warriors and Melbourne, Vodafone Warriors TV sat down with Kearney to find out from him what makes the Storm so special, what makes them tick.