Melbourne, 'we have a problem': Bellamy
Disturbed Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy didn't hold back following his team's uncharacteristic 34-16 loss to the Wests Tigers, assessing his Storm team had a "problem" and were "soft".
Asked about his team's precarious placing on the NRL Telstra Premiership ladder and how the 18-point loss will affect it, Bellamy labelled it a "minor disappointment" in comparison to the way his team performed.
After 16 minutes the Storm were up 10-0 and were flying, in particular winger Marika Koroibete, but what followed in the final three quarters was a Tigers ambush which Bellamy's men failed to respond to.
"I'm sure the other teams around us [on the ladder] at the moment they'd be doing handstands. But for me, the table looks after itself when you perform well and when you don't perform well it's not going to be kind to you," Bellamy said post-game.
"The last 60 minutes against the Tigers they scored 34 points to six. That's the most points we've had put on us all year, so we have a problem. We didn't respect the footy, and along with not respecting the footy, we just didn't defend well after that.
"After they scored their first try I don't think we touched for about 10 minutes [after that] so we played really poorly and they played really well. After the start we had, it just shows to me that we became a bit soft.
"We didn't want to keep working hard like we were. Subconsciously everyone tried to leave it to their teammates. We didn't have the ball, but we didn't try and back it up with any sort of defence."
Conceding three penalties and three errors more than their opponents, Storm captain Cameron Smith was just as disappointed in Melbourne's performance.
Detailing how he sat his team down during the captain's run to describe how much of a danger game it was for the side, Smith said considering how each team is placed on the ladder they should have put the Tigers to the sword.
"[With the Tigers] being at the bottom of the ladder, I told [our boys] they had nothing to lose. Absolutely [playing bottom-eight teams] are dangerous games for us, but if we're fair dinkum and if we played to our capabilities then we should never lose these games," Smith said.
"No disrespect to the Wests Tigers but if we played to our capabilities then we should've come away with the two competition points."
Another danger game looms next Sunday afternoon when they face the cellar-dwelling Titans, where another loss will almost certainly guarantee the Storm will drop out of the top six.