Melbourne's unbeaten start to the 2019 NRL season is an encouraging omen, but coach Craig Bellamy warns the club's many doubters could soon be proven right.
After the opening month, the Storm remain the only 4-0 side in the competition after they scraped over the line with an 18-16 win over an under-strength Canterbury at AAMI Park on Sunday.
With South Sydney suffering their first loss of the season, a 13-12 upset by Manly, the Storm sit alone atop the table.
Already they have established themselves as the team to beat this year, along with the Sydney Roosters.
And while the cream appears to be rising to the top after just four rounds, Bellamy urged patience and caution.
The Storm have gone unbeaten in their opening four games on six occasions - in 2017, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2007 and 1998.
They went on to win the grand final in three of those years - in 2017, 2012 and 2007 - although they were subsequently stripped of the latter title for rorting the salary cap.
In a year when the Storm were supposed to be coming back to the pack, they appear to be on track for a fourth consecutive grand final appearance.
"I know there's been a lot of critics or experts saying because Billy (Slater) went, Ryan Hoffman and Tim Glasby went we lost a lot of experience so it was going to be a real tough year for us," Bellamy said.
"They will might be proven right b ut we're off to a good start.
"We just want to make sure we're doing the things we're doing well. But there's some areas we want to improve."
Meanwhile, for the second straight week Corey Norman booted a golden point field goal as St George Illawarra won 13-12 against a Kalyn Ponga-inspired Newcastle.
Nipping at the Storm's heels in second spot are the Roosters after they ran in seven tries to one against the Broncos on Thursday night.
Even without Jake Friend (shoulder) and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (ribs), they embarrassed the Broncos 36-4 to pile the pressure on coach Anthony Seibold.
Manly playmaker Daly Cherry-Evans was the hero, booting the winning field goal in Manly's 13-12 win over South Sydney on Saturday.
In a week in which his family has been the focus of the rugby league world, Penrith playmaker Nathan Cleary booted the winning one point in his side's scrappy 9-8 win over the Wests Tigers.
A Mitchell Moses-inspired Parramatta defeated Cronulla - who were missing Paul Gallen, Shaun Johnson, Matt Moylan before losing Aaron Woods in the second half - 24-12 to continue their resurgence.
Canberra moved into third with a 30-12 win and continue North Queensland's horror start to the year.
Gold Coast remained winless and anchored to the bottom of the table after suffering a meek 26-10 loss to the Warriors.
Australian Associated Press