Storm hooker Brandon Smith.

Cameron Smith might be irreplaceable but his Melbourne teammates have faith in rookie Brandon Smith to hold the fort if the Storm skipper is ruled out through injury.

Melbourne come away from their 30-20 loss to South Sydney on Saturday night giving up more than first place on the ladder, with Smith hobbling off in the 73rd minute with an injured Achilles tendon that could force him to spend some time on the sidelines.

Smith will undergo scans when the team arrives back in Melbourne on Saturday and the club is expected to release a statement regarding his immediate playing future.

Hoffman is confident if worse comes to worst that Smith's inexperienced namesake is capable of stepping up to the challenge.

"We're confident he's going to be okay but whatever happens we will deal with it," Hoffman said.

"You're never going to replace Smithy but every time Brandon Smith has come into the team he has done a really good job and I'm sure he will do the job that is required of him."

The breathtaking quality of football that was displayed in the first half would've had both teams believing that the game was there for the taking.

Storm captain Cameron Smith.
Storm captain Cameron Smith. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

Hoffman put their defeat down to the his team's poor defensive effort in containing Bunnies hooker Damien Cook, who cut Melbourne's middle into shreds in the second half off the back of some strong runs by the Burgess brothers.

"I think we reinforced that we need to be a lot stronger defensively," Hoffman said.

"It was a very fast game but we needed to be a lot better through the middle. We spoke all game about Damien Cook, how dangerous he was and he just got too much of a roll on.

"He ran for a ridiculous amount of metres. We knew it was going to happen and they got those three big boys (Burgess brothers) running hard and (Cook) likes to run off the back of them.

"It showed why they're now sitting at the top of the table, because they shaped up for a big game and played for 80 minutes and we didn't."

With four games left until the finals, Hoffman said the Storm need to get back to playing their own brand of football if they want to give themselves any chance at winning a premiership.

"It was a disappointing second half of footy," he said.

"I thought we weren't too bad in the first half but the second half we just kept shooting ourselves in the foot and didn't give ourselves the chance to win the football back.

"We beat ourselves almost, through errors and penalties - we spent the whole second half inside our own 40. We need to focus on doing what the Melbourne Storm does best and that's completing our sets and playing the game of football down the opposition's end."