Melbourne Storm rejected after shock Reece Walsh hunt

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Reece Walsh (pictured) won't be joining the Melbourne Storm for the final stretch of the NRL season. (Getty Images)
Reece Walsh (pictured) won't be joining the Melbourne Storm for the final stretch of the NRL season. (Getty Images)

The New Zealand Warriors have rejected the Storms' request for young gun Reece Walsh as a mid-season replacement for the injured Ryan Papenhuyzen.

On Thursday, Storm chief executive Justin Rodski announced Papenhuyzen had shattered his knee cap in 10 places after the horror collision with Jack Wighton against the Raiders.

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He was immediately taken from the field in excruciating pain and has successfully undergone surgery.

"He broke his kneecap in, I think, 10 places so it was a pretty brutal injury," Rodski told SEN.

"His recovery time is somewhere around three months so we won't see him again this year unfortunately

"They have put pins and clips that stay inside your knee and it can heal really quickly."

The club's chief executive announced the Storm were in the market for a replacement.

Melbourne turned their attention to Walsh with high hopes the star would join having already signed a three-year deal with Brisbane and the Warriors out of finals contention.

However, coach Craig Bellamy said the Warriors quickly shut down any chance of their star fullback leaving.

He said they would have to look elsewhere before the August 1 signing deadline.

"That's been hit on the head," the coach told AAP on Friday ahead of their clash with Souths in Sydney.

"That's been knocked back by the Warriors so we've moved on.

"My job is not to go out there and try and find a replacement, my job is to coach with what we've got here and the other people on the recruitment side will look after that."

Melbourne Storm injury toll grows

The flying fullback joins Xavier Coates, George Jennings and Reimis Smith on Craig Bellamy's long-term injury list.

Melbourne also recorded their third consecutive loss, the fourth-longest streak in the club's history, sparking concern within the club.

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.

Club legend Cameron Smith pinpointed the atypical defensive performances from the Storm following three consecutive losses.

“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."

with AAP

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