Melbourne Storm star Cameron Munster was heard blowing up at his teammate Brandon Smith during their four-point loss against Parramatta on Thursday night.
The Eels won a cagey contest at a rain-soaked Bankwest Stadium 16-12, with a Maika Sivo double powering them to their first win over a full-strength Melbourne in nine years.
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Sivo scored the Eels' first and last tries in the gripping win, with his match-winner coming three minutes from fulltime.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy admitted it was a match that proved how much his side miss retired legend Cam Smith, whose experience in tough conditions is arguably unrivalled.
Brandon Smith has been entrusted to fill the hooking role at the Storm in the first two matches of the season and his service against the Eels was thrown into question by his Melbourne teammate, Munster.
On more than one occasion in the first half, Munster seemed furious with his hooker for not passing him the ball.
Footage showed the Storm playmaker - stationed on the left side of his attack - throw up his arms in frustration when Smith decided to ignore him and shift the ball right.
However, it was a ball that landed at Munster's feet in the slippery conditions that prompted some angry words from the Storm playmaker.
“It’s just an interesting verbal I have been noticing between Munster and his hooker Brandon Smith,” Lara Pitt said during Fox Sports' broadcast.
“Munster gave him an absolute gobful in the lead-up to that try, not happy with the service he hasn’t been getting, it looked like, from his dummy-half.
It will be interesting if they have a few words in the sheds about how their attack is going in the first half.”
Storm legend Cooper Cronk also weighed into the issue of Smith's service when asked about the incident with Munster at halftime.
“I think it is normal to have a dig at Brandon Smith but I also think he wants Brandon’s service to improve in these conditions,” Cronk said.
“I think Munster has that relationship with Brandon where they need to have that to and fro because Brandon’s service needs to be at the level Smith had for Munster to do his thing.”
The champion former halfback did admit that the conversation would be different if Munster was speaking to Cameron Smith and not Brandon.
“If he had done it to the bloke who played there last year it would have been: ‘Excuse me sir, can you please pass it to me on the full’. But because of his relationship with Brandon he stands over the top of him, gives him a bit of a gob-full,” he said.
“But that’s OK.”
Sivo double seas win for Eels
Melbourne completed at just 70 per cent in the second half and could only get one play-the-ball in the Eels' 20 in that second period as Parramatta maintained the ascendancy.
It was the type of match where Cam Smith would traditionally drill a long kick early out of dummy-half or regain the momentum of the game around the ruck.
"You can say (it was made for him), but he ain't playing," Bellamy said.
"We would like to put him in, 'half-time Smithy, out you go'. We're still learning a bit of that. That's part of it.
"We just have to take that responsibility."
Replacing Smith was always going to be about more than just finding a new No.9 for Melbourne, given his 19 seasons and 430 games experience.
But the Storm do have another challenge at dummy-half, with Bellamy revealing that Harry Grant could still miss another month with a knee injury.
The reigning premiers also have Penrith next Thursday night in a grand final rematch at Panthers Stadium.
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