The Fate of a Dynasty Rests with Inglis Verdict

Kate WestContributor IAugust 12, 2009

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 05: Greg Inglis of the Storm looks dejected during the NRL Grand Final match between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium on October 5, 2008 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

If the Melbourne Storm fails to win the 2009 Premiership, their reign atop of the NRL will be considered one of great underachievement.


A feat looking all the more likely with Greg Inglis sidelined indefinitely after he was charged with recklessly causing injury and unlawful assault on his long-term girlfriend Sally Robinson.


The Storm acted swiftly in standing down the 22-year-old superstar, making a clear statement that such behaviour will not be tolerated in the pursuit of on field success.


Storm Chief Executive Brian Waldron was forthright when questioned on Monday.


"I'm not concerned one bit about what goes on on the field," he said. "I'm concerned about the welfare of Sally, the welfare of Greg and the image of the club. I think the rest will look after itself."

Inglis appeared briefly at the Sunshine Magistrates Court yesterday before the case was adjourned for two weeks.  Following which, the club released a statement on its website that he will remain stood down for an indefinite period.


Waldron was on hand to support Inglis at the Court but was unwavering with the club's strong stance.


“We believe this is the appropriate course of action and is in the best interest of all parties concerned, we reiterate our concern for the wellbeing of all involved,” he said.


The Storm dominated the NRL from 2006-2008 claiming a hat trick of Minor Premierships but only one Premiership from three grand final appearances. 


The ability for Craig Bellamy to reinvent his team each season has been remarkable given the high turnover of players and salary cap constraints. 


However, the cracks started to appear during an ugly finals campaign in 2008 which culminated in a humiliating 40-0 Grand Final loss to Manly. 


All involved with the club will say 2009 is a new season, but it cannot be easy to brush off such a grand failure on the biggest stage.  Despite clinging to fourth sport, the sense of unfinished business that guided them to the 2007 flag is not evident.


Any team that boasts Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Dallas Johnson, and Inglis cannot be discounted but if Inglis’ indefinite suspension continues into September a second premiership under Bellamy looks out of reach.