A devoted Melbourne Storm member who was the victim of an alleged murder by a lifelong friend has been remembered by the club on the first night of the NRL season.
The body of Tamara Farrell, 31, was found dumped and burned in country Victoria last month.
A 22-year-old man close to Ms Farrell was charged with her murder, with the motive unclear to detectives.
On Thursday night in their win over the Brisbane Broncos, Melbourne players wore white ribbons to pay tribute to Ms Farrell.
The club called on supporters at AAMI Park to donate to White Ribbon Australia and contribute to ending domestic violence.
The boys are wearing white ribbons tonight to remember the life of Tamara Farrell – member #23278.
One woman is killed every week as a result of intimate partner violence.
White Ribbon Australia drives social change to end men’s violence against women.
— Melbourne Storm (@storm) March 14, 2019
Melbourne’s gesture comes after an NRL off-season blighted by poor player behaviour.
Several players were charged by police for alleged acts of domestic violence or sexual assault.
Storm win season-opening game
Melbourne’s round-one record under coach Craig Bellamy remains intact after the Storm held off a resurgent Brisbane to open the NRL season with a 22-12 win at AAMI Park on Thursday night.
Heading into the match the Storm hadn’t lost in the opening round in the 16 years Bellamy had been at the helm, and in the first half that looked likely to stretch to another year with the Broncos disappointing.
But two tries to Brisbane winger Corey Oates within two minutes midway through the second stanza turned the game on its head and it appeared they could snatch a win in their first match under new coach Anthony Seibold.
Oates’ second effort couldn’t have been simpler with Melbourne prop Jesse Bromwich attempting an unlikely offload and throwing the ball straight into his arms for him to scamper through to close the lead to four points.
But six minutes later Bromwich was back in the good books with a barnstorming run from 15 metres out to score his team’s fourth try of the night and from there they weren’t troubled.
“I thought it was a very high quality game for round one,” Bellamy said.
“I was really happy with the way our guys played.”
The first of their tries was scored by Jahrome Hughes, who impressed in his first outing as the replacement for retired superstar fullback Billy Slater.
Oates got past him for both of his tries but Hughes still looked the part as Bellamy declared him the best player in his team.