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Melbourne was again left scratching their heads after failing to covert dominant field position into victory for the second week running.

The Storm suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time this season, going down to a resilient Broncos outfit to lose 14-12 at AAMI Park.

Despite holding 60% possession and completing 10 more sets, the home side was simply unable to find a way through for the game-winning try.

It was a similar story to last week's defeat to the Eels where Melbourne controlled the game for much of the 80 minutes but failed to land the killer blow.

It was a thought not lost on Storm coach Craig Bellamy.

"We had enough ball to win three games, we controlled the ball pretty good," he said following the defeat to the Broncos.

"I don't know how many goal line drop outs we had, we had about a thousand of them but we just lacked a little bit of polish throughout a couple of stages with our sets.

"The Broncos defended real well, that is probably why they're leading the comp but every now and then we made it a little bit easier for them and went away from what we wanted to do."


Watching the Storm push bravely on for a match-winner but come up short yet again, one could not help but wonder the difference Cooper Cronk would have made in those dying moments.

The genius playmaker has been forced to watch from the stands as he continues to recover from a knee injury. He will undergo a fitness test this week ahead of next Monday's trip to face Canterbury.

Melbourne's new-look halves pairing of Blake Green (two tries) and Ben Hampton certainly were not poor against the Broncos and they had the opposition on the back foot with 543 kick metres. 

However when the game was there to be won neither could produce the magic that was required.

Bellamy refused to concede the line between winning and losing rested solely with having Cronk in the No.7.

"Taking a player like that out of your team obviously makes it harder… he's obviously been there a long time and knows what to do in situations but that is not being fair on Benny Hampton," Bellamy said.

"Benny hasn't had that experience or played as many games as Cooper has or played rep footy like Cooper has.

"Cooper is not there so we put in our next best option which Benny is, without a doubt. 

"That is just the cards your dealt, that is no criticism of Benny but at the end of the day he hasn't had that experience Cooper has had and it is hard to replace a guy like Cooper Cronk in a club team, it is basically impossible.

"You like to think he [Cronk] would have made a little bit of a difference but having said that there are other players as well who might of made a difference but at the end of the day the might-be's don't matter."

The Storm will have a week to dust themselves off before they look to snap their two game-losing streak against Canterbury next Monday night.



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