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Melbourne saved their best performance of the 2015 Telstra Premiership season for the game that mattered most.

When the final siren sounded on their 52-10 demolition of Penrith the entire club could finally let out a collective sigh of relief.

In particular coach Craig Bellamy, who admitted he had felt nerves like never before ahead of captain Cameron Smith's 300th NRL game.

"I know myself throughout the week and especially today I was nervous as, probably more nervous than I've ever been in any game," Bellamy said.

"It was obviously a big occasion for our club and a big occasion for our captain.

"I've never been at a club where a player has played 300 games while I've been there so it was a bit of a different occasion for me. 

"I am in awe of those guys who can play 300 games at this level and for Cameron to do it at the one club, he has never ever let this team down… we certainly owe him something and tonight was a little way in repaying him."


For a man who has coached State of Origins, grand finals and countless finals it is quite a compliment to Smith that the master coach cut a nervous wreck before the match, something Smith certainly noticed in the warm-up.

"I saw him before the game actually and I could see that he was a little bit different to what he is most weeks and I just said 'Mate, it's my 300th but it's just a game of footy, you've got to relax!'" Smith said.

"For the guys to feel the way they did about the game tonight and my milestone and the big fella getting a bit nervous I guess it is quite humbling to hear words like that. 

"That is the way of this club though, looking after each other and doing the very best you could for your teammate. I learnt that quite early when I joined the Melbourne Storm.

"Three-hundred is a pretty big number in any sport, it is sort of like the magical number and when you get there it is pretty special."

It was the perfect night for the Storm who also snapped their four-game losing streak to move back inside the Telstra Premiership top four.

The only concern to come out of the game was the sight of Cooper Cronk limping after the match with ice on the knee he injured prior to Origin II five weeks ago.

Cronk left the field with 10 minutes to play and received treatment after the game but the club is confident those measures were just a precaution.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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