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Melbourne Storm great Cameron Smith has conceded his former club’s start to the season is “concerning” and said it’s a “very different side right now.”
The Storm have lost two of their first three games of the season — both shock results against the Bulldogs and Titans.
Coach Craig Bellamy said on Saturday following the Titans loss that the team’s “problem” is “the care factor seems very, very low.”
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And now Smith, who played 430 games for the Storm and won three premierships, has dissected their latest loss.
“It is concerning and there is no doubt,” Smith told SEN on Monday.
“It just took the Storm a bit to get going.
“They didn’t play well and it’s as simple as that.
“They were up by 12 points with a couple of minutes to go in the first half.
“They had a couple of poor plays where they forced poor passes and offloads which resulted in errors.
“They went into halftime up by six, and six or seven minutes into the second half, they were down by six.
“It was an 18-point turnaround in about nine minutes.”
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The Storm are arguably the most successful club of the NRL era. Since 2010 — post salary cap scandal — the club has finished in the top four 10 times and played in five grand finals.
Smith played a big role in that period along with the likes of Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk.
Those three have since retired.
“We all get caught up in talking about the Storm like it’s the same team of that magical period,” Smith said.
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“They were very lucky to have some players who we consider now as generational players.
“The Storm of now just don’t have that team.
“This is a very different Melbourne Storm side right now and there’s no excuses for them because there are high expectations on this football team and within the group.
“Bellamy was extremely disappointed in the way they played.
“We need to start judging this team based on its own merits.”