Storm finals loss 'embarrassing'
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has labeled his side's elimination final performance an 'embarrassment'.
The Storm barely gave a yelp as they were steamrolled by the Bulldogs 28-4 in front of 19,230 fans at AAMI Park.
Ranked best in the NRL for fewest errors and incomplete sets heading into the finals, the home side completed just 25 of 39 sets for a completion rate of 64 per cent.
Heads were understandably down in the purple dressing room with their finals campaign shattered at the first hurdle.
"I felt quite embarrassed about out performance in the first half, how we started the game," Bellamy said afterwards.
"I'm not sure how we could start a game like that. And it's obviously, not just the players, it's obviously the way we coached them during the week to actually not be ready to start straightaway doing the things that we wanted to do.
"We were waiting for things to happen. We were rabbits in the headlights. I'm not quite sure how that could happen but it did and as I said, it's really disappointing, shattering and it's bloody embarrassing to be quite honest."
The result means Melbourne will bid farewell to a host of names, a none will be more keenly missed than favourite son Ryan Hoffman.
Hoffman will join the Warriors next season after 244 games for the Storm, including its 2012 premiership win.
For the curtain to fall on the 30-year-old's career at the club in a fashion like that only rubbed salt into the wound for the side after the game.
"He's been tremendous for the club. He's been here 11 years and as I said quite regularly, he's one of the best team players I've ever coached," Bellamy said.
"His dad was probably one of the best team players I ever played with, so it runs in the family. I know one sad things for us is that he couldn't finish his career here.
"I think one of the reasons I am so embarrassed about today was, it's going to be his last game for the club and he didn't deserve to go out like that. And we all should be hanging our heads in shame for doing that because he's been one hell of an asset to this club."
So for the second season in a row Melbourne finishes its season without a finals win after a straight-sets exit at the hands of South Sydney and Newcastle last year.
It was a season of ups and downs for a club accustomed to success and consistency is the thing that needs to be addressed in the eyes of the skipper.
"It's been an issue here for a couple of seasons now and it was probably the thing that we were best in the competition at in the past ten years," Cameron Smith.
"That's something we need to address and I think it's something we need to address at training. That's where it starts."