Melbourne Storm great Cameron Smith has called out some of his former team's 'poor' efforts against the Gold Coast Titans, while declaring the current side are nowhere near as good as some of their predecessors. The Storm slumped to their second-straight loss and are now 1-2 on the season after suffering their first loss to the Titans on the Gold Coast since 2013.
Speaking on SEN radio on Monday, former captain Smith said: “It is concerning and there is no doubt. It just took the Storm a bit to get going.
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“They didn’t play well and it’s as simple as that. They were up by 12 points with a couple of minutes to go in the first half.
“They had a couple of poor plays where they forced poor passes and offloads which resulted in errors. They went into half-time up by six, and six or seven minutes into the second half, they were down by six. It was an 18-point turnaround in about nine minutes.”
Smith offered a brutal truth bomb to the current side, declaring they are nowhere near where some previous Storm sides have been. “We all get caught up in talking about the Storm like it’s the same team of that magical period,” Smith said in regards to former teams who had players like himself, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk.
“They were very lucky to have some players who we consider now as generational players. The Storm of now just don’t have that team.
“This is a very different Melbourne Storm side right now and there’s no excuses for them because there are high expectations on this football team and within the group. (Craig) Bellamy was extremely disappointed in the way they played. We need to start judging this team based on its own merits.”
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Speaking after the loss, coach Bellamy ripped into some of his side's play. The veteran coach labelled some key effort areas as 'very low'.
"At times, the Titans were probably as bad as us with some errors that they made, but they hung on better than us,” he said. “With all due respect, our problem at the moment is the care factor seems very, very low.
“You would think it would have been better yes… you might be able to tell me because I’m not quite sure how to fix it. As I said, to me we sort of worked a little bit harder defensively today, but they scored 18 points in six minutes just before half-time then two after half-time."
Captain Christian Welch was also highly critical of his side's "lack of care". He said: “We are trying, we are just making life pretty difficult for ourselves, we have been one of the best teams over the last couple of weeks at doing stupid s**t.
"Just taking the pressure off, we started the game all right and then some bad penalties, handling… big attitude adjustment. Probably lack of care, lack of respect for the ball, especially in those conditions, you keep turning the ball over and making errors, it is going to be a pretty long day.”
After a golden-point win over Parramatta in the opening round, the Storm have suffered shock losses to the Bulldogs and Titans. They will look to get their season back on track when they host the Wests Tigers on Friday night.
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