Storm spray saves perfect Melbourne start
Had it not been for a trademark Craig Bellamy spray at halftime, the Melbourne Storm may not have been able to retain their unbeaten start to the season.
The Storm's perfect start looked to be in jeopardy when they trailed 14-0 after 39 minutes to an emotion-charged Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval.
However, Melbourne struck right before halftime with a try to Nelson Asofa-Solomona to cut the deficit before Bellamy chose some choice words, motivating his side to march onto the 22-14 victory.
While Will Chambers insists their head coach has toned down in recent times, it worked a treat as the Storm rectified an uncharacteristic error-riddled and ill-disciplined first-half effort.
"It was a fair one (spray)," Chambers said. "He's calmed down over the last couple of years. When I first started it was Craig at his real best.
"He gave us one on the weekend which was pretty good.
"We made it so hard on ourselves early. We couldn't control the ball and Wests (Tigers) had all the momentum.
"We got in at half-time, regrouped and got it all right in the second half. Luckily enough we came away with the win."
It wasn't the first time Melbourne had to chase down the lead after a dramatic finish to beat the Brisbane Broncos 14-12 in the final three minutes in Round 3, following overcoming a 10-6 halftime deficit to win 26-10 against the Warriors in torrential wet Auckland weather.
Chambers recognises his side escaped again against Wests Tigers but they cannot afford another poor start against premiership heavyweights Penrith Panthers this weekend.
"We need to start well this week, especially against Penrith," Chambers said.
"They're a team that if we give them as much opportunity as we gave Wests, they'll really put us to the sword.
"We need to be right on our game early on.
"They play an exciting style of footy and can score points from anywhere on the field. If our defence isn't on, they'll really hurt us.
"We know we have to turn up this week. It's going to be a tough game on Saturday night."
After recording the stingiest defence in 2016, the Storm remain the NRL's leading defence so far this season with a stingy 42 points conceded after four rounds.
They'll put themselves to the test against the second-best defence in the Panthers (58 points allowed).
While Melbourne's defence has been their biggest strongpoint in their 4-0 record on top of the NRL table, their attack remains a work in progress.
Last season they scored 23.46 points per game but have scored just 74 points (18.5 points per game) for the tied-fifth lowest attack.
Hopefully their 22-unanswered point scoring burst against Wests Tigers is a sign of improvement.
"(The attack's) coming along well," Chambers said. "We've got Bill (Slater) back now. He adds another string to our bow. He's a world-class fullback and he's only two games back.
"The longer he's back out there, the more fluid we will get.
"We've got a lot of improvement. We've defended really well and our attack is starting to come along slowly.
"If we can get the attack right, we'll be a fair footy side."