Cameron Smith's brutal truth for Melbourne Storm amid losing streak

·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Cameron Smith (pictured right) speaking at the NRL and (pictured left) Cameron Munster reacting to a loss.
Cameron Smith (pictured right) has claimed the Melbourne Storm need to pinpoint their defence as an area to work on after three straight losses. (Getty Images)

Melbourne legend Cameron Smith has handed his old team a reality check after the Storm lost their third-straight game.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy has been critical on how his team has defended after three-straight losses to the Sea Eagles, Sharks and most recently the Raiders.

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The 20-16 loss to the Raiders marked the fourth-longest losing streak in the club's history.

However, Bellamy doesn't think the club is too far off returning to form.

"We created a lot of opportunities so that was a huge improvement on the last couple of weeks, but we just couldn't finish a few of them off," Bellamy said.

"We've just got to keep working hard in our preparation and hopefully things will turn."

Following the loss, club legend Smith - who was in attendance - pinpointed the Storm's defence as a point of concern.

The Storm missed 41 tackles against the Raiders, marking the first time since 2002 that the club has missed more than 40 tackles in three-consecutive games.

Smith said while other stats are no concern, the atypical defensive performances from the Storm need to change.

“When you look at their last three games, they’ve lost three in a row,” Smith said on Monday.

“But when you look at stats alone over the last three games their stats are OK. Their completion rates are quite high, their running metres are good, they’re doing the right things with the football.

“I just don’t think their defence is up to scratch.

“It’s not the typical Melbourne Storm where they’re usually, and have been for a long time, a very hard side to score against.

“There’s way too many points being conceded for Melbourne."

Unfortunately, Melbourne couldn't win for Smith on the day a stand named after the NRL great was unveiled at AAMI Park.

Harry Grant (pictured) reacting after losing to the Raiders.
The Melbourne Storm have now lost three matches in a row. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

Ryan Papenhuyzen facing long sideline stint

The news doesn't get much better for the Storm.

For the first time since round nine, Melbourne had their complete spine together, but that lasted just 19 minutes after Ryan Papenhuyzen was helped off after a sickening clash of right kneecaps with Jack Wighton.

Bellamy confirmed he doesn't expect Papenhuyzen to return this year after scans.

"He's got a broken kneecap and he won't be back (this season) I wouldn't imagine," Storm coach Craig Bellamy said.

Papenhuyzen has scored 14 tries in 11 games this season but has missed matches with a posterior cruciate ligament injury and a hamstring issue.

"He's laboured a little bit since he has been back but I thought he looked pretty sharp there," Bellamy said.

The Raiders notched a fourth-straight win over the Storm at AAMI Park and moved up one spot to 10th, just two points behind eighth-placed Manly.

with AAP

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