Melbourne NRL captain Cameron Smith believes the Storm must find consistency in their game to remain a premiership threat this season, after overcoming a slow start to beat Gold Coast.
The Storm needed three second-half tries to erase an eight-point deficit against the lowly Titans on Saturday and cement their spot in the top four.
Christian Welch's sin-binning for a professional foul that stopped a probable Alexander Brimson try gave the Titans a late sniff, but Josh Addo-Carr scooped up a loose pass to seal the contest.
Asked whether this year's new-look side could defend their crown, Smith said: "I think we can if we get some consistency about us."
Storm coach Craig Bellamy also challenged his team to string some strong performances together, but was delighted to come out on top in a close contest for the first time this year.
"The games we've won, we've won by reasonable amounts. I know, in the end, it was 14 points - we scored a late try - but I was just real happy that we got through a real close game today," he said.
Looking to snap a run of four-straight losses, the Titans stunned the defending premiers to get to a 14-8 lead before being hit by a crippling sequence of injuries.
At one stage, Garth Brennan's bench was empty after Jarrod Wallace (head knock), Will Matthews (head knock), Kevin Proctor (groin) and Keegan Hipgrave (wrist) were all in the casualty ward.
Wallace and Hipgrave returned but another head clash put Jack Stockwell out of action, while Melbourne half Ryley Jacks was also ruled out of the clash with concussion.
Melbourne took advantage of the league's worst defensive team with a Curtis Scott try and two Cameron Smith penalty goals to jump to an 8-0 advantage early at Suncorp Stadium.
But sparked by some big tackling from debutante half Brimson and some uncharacteristic Storm handling errors, the Titans were able to steady through Ashley Taylor.
Taylor first went short to Titans debutant Brenko Lee in the right corner, before Taylor made the most of a Billy Slater fumble to put his other centre Dale Copley away for the eight-point lead at the break.
Injury spoiled the Titans' second-half plans as tries to Felise Kaufusi and Cameron Munster edged the Storm clear for their sixth win of the season.
"Things are going against us at this point with some injuries. Down to no reserves at stages in that second half, but that's footy," Titans coach Garth Brennan said.
"I'm really proud of the performance the boys put in. There was plenty of guts showed there tonight."