Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy has given a scathing review of his side’s performance in their shock loss to the Titans in stifling conditions on the Gold Coast.
The Storm made a litany of errors in the 38-34 loss, with several leading directly to Titans tries.
The minutes either side of halftime were particularly out of character. The Storm led 24-12 in the 40th minute when Brian Kelly scored to reduce the deficit to six at the break.
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The Storm’s woes continued immediately after the break when Eliesa Katoa dropped the ball trying to make a late offload near his own line, which allowed Joseph Vuna to score.
The Titans were in again minutes later when Jahrome Hughes coughed up the ball on their 20m line. It was scooped up by Aaron Schoupp who ran 80m untouched to put the Titans back in front.
“They look completely lost, disjointed and unorganised, the Melbourne Storm,” Corey Parker said for Fox Sports a short time later.
The Storm conceded four penalties in the 20 minutes after halftime.
Bellamy seemed at a loss to explain the performance.
“Our problem at the moment is the care factor seems very, very low,” he said.
“You would have thought we’d be better … I’m not quite sure how to fix it.
“We sort of worked a little bit harder defensively today so that was an improvement, but they scored 18 points in six minutes, just before and just after halftime, and both of them after halftime came off errors.”
Skipper Christian Welch was also blunt in his appraisal.
“We’ve been one of the best teams in the last couple of weeks at doing stupid shit,” he said.
“We started the game OK … and then just bad penalties, bad handling, I forced an offload when I really shouldn’t have.
“I think it was a big attitude adjustment.”
Bellamy’s weekend may still get worse, with halfback Jahrome Hughes seemingly likely to find himself on the sidelines next week.
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Down an early try, Hughes flew out of the Storm line to pressure the kick of his opposite number Tanah Boyd’s kick, but there was no wrapping motion in the hit, and he was put on report.
Despite the struggles, it was a debut to remember for young half Jonah Pezet, who scored the Storm’s first try after bursting through the Titans defence out of a scrum.
Boyd continued his sensational form with the boot, kicking seven from seven.
Alofiana Khan-Pereira and Schoupp both picked up doubles for the Titans, as did Nick Meaney for the Storm, who also kicked five goals to finish with 18 points.
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