With just one win from its past four games this is a Melbourne Storm side that needs to find itself soon or risk having its 2014 campaign slip away.
The Victorian side suffered its toughest defeat of the year on Friday night, going down 16-10 to the 15th-placed Warriors in front of 28,716 spectators– the biggest NRL crowd in AAMI Park history.
The Storm seemed lackluster throughout the first half and for the 80 minutes seemed to be out-willed by an opposition that appeared hungrier for the contest.
Down 12-6 at halftime, the home side came out all guns blazing, scoring a try and dominating territory with six of the first eight sets in the second half.
However the Storm could never take the lead and failed to capitalise on its great field position in what coach Craig Bellamy described post-match as his side simply not clicking together.
“We are just struggling to all get on the same page at the moment,” said Bellamy.
“Some weeks we’ve got blokes that played good one week when others don’t and then the next week it’s vice versa.”
“Sometimes we just look a bit foreign to each other.”
Despite the side having such creative minds as Smith, Cronk and Slater on the field, it came away from the match with just 10 points – its lowest score of the season.
The irony of the loss was that the much-maligned Storm defence conceded its fewest points for the year.
However it was the other end of the field that left the men in purple scratching their heads, including captain Cameron Smith.
“When we get into some good ball we were a bit helter skelter at times,” said Smith.
“We are a side that play to a lot of structure and if something goes outside that structure I think we struggle a bit, that is what we need to improve.”
“I think we lose our heads a bit when something doesn’t go to what we wanted to do.
“We had enough opportunities to win the game tonight but we just couldn’t seal it out.”
In a further blow, centre Justin O’Neill was taken for scans after the match after injuring his ankle and while the full extent of the damage is not known Bellamy said the initial prognoses did not look promising.
The Storm will have the international break to re-group before hosting arch rivals the Sea Eagles in two weeks time.