July 20, 2024

Victories over the Warriors will always mean that little bit more to the Storm, but it has nothing to with a rivalry or maintaining their current NRL record winning streak over the Kiwi side.

Instead it’s all about Michael Moore – Melbourne’s inaugural football manager who died in Auckland following a game against the Warriors in 2000 – and who the annual clashes between the two sides are played in honour of.

Twenty-four years on his legacy remains as important as ever to the Storm, who took the unusual step of moving their old boys’ day to be part of last Saturday’s Warriors home game in order to recognise the 20-year anniversary of Moore’s passing (the pandemic and schedule had prevented them from doing it earlier).

It included the club’s traditional walk to Moore’s memorial plaque located at the entry to the Waitemata Harbour and, at the organisation of former Storm players Tawera Nikau and Matt Rua, a Māori blessing ceremony attended by members of the Moore family and a collection of Storm representatives past and present.

“We will never lose our appreciation for what he did for the club, and when Craig [Bellamy] and I go the next group of leaders will continue it too. It can’t be forgotten,” current day Storm football manager Frank Ponissi told NRL.com.

“Every time that we come over to play the Warriors we always take the squad down to view the plaque; it’s just our way of keeping the Michael Moore legacy going.

“We go down there informally and we educate the players who haven’t been there before about Michael.”

After overcoming the Warriors 38-24 on Saturday night, Melbourne retained the Michael Moore Trophy for the 16th game in a row.

It continues what is by far the longest active winning streak an NRL club has over an opponent, and coach Craig Bellamy believes the knowledge of who they are playing for each time they meet the Warriors has plenty to do with their dominant record.

“It’s something that we will forever celebrate. It’s a pride thing going out and playing well when we play the Warriors,” Bellamy said.

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