Craig Bellamy has admitted it’s looking less likely his Melbourne Storm side can salvage their 2022 campaign after suffering their fourth consecutive loss for the first time since 2015.
The Storm were soundly beaten by the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the signs were bad early as Keaon Koloamatangi opened the scoring in just the second minute of the game.
Though Melbourne gave themselves a glimmer of hope with a try to Marion Seve just before half-time to stay in touch, they were repeatedly exposed on the edges as the Rabbitohs cruised in the second half.
Bellamy was surprisingly frank in his post-match assessment of his team’s efforts, despite acknowledging the mountain of injuries his squad is currently dealing with.
“We’ve got guys in our team (to cover injuries) – we don’t pick them up off the street. They need to catch the ball, pass the ball and make tackles,” Bellamy explained.
“But for parts of our game we can’t seem to do that. We’re not playing a consistent game for 80 minutes. Even if we got 65-70 minutes it’d be an improvement on what we’re doing at the moment.
“(Koloamatangi) could have walked over in the corner after just a minute and a half. We weren’t fatigued then. It’s moments like that that are really hurting us at the moment.”
The Storm are currently without Ryan Papenhuyzen, Xavier Coates, Reimis Smith, George Jennings, Christian Welch, Tepai Moeroa and Trent Loiero. With Brandon Smith also suspended, they're desperately short of experience in key areas of the field.
Reports this week suggest they are desperately trying to bring a quality outside back into their depleted squad before the August 1 deadline – with Reece Walsh the leading candidate.
Though the prestigious club has faced adversity before and regularly found ways to overcome mounting challenges, Bellamy was disarmingly honest in his post-match assessment of the club’s prospects.
“I’m not confident we can turn it around,” Bellamy admitted.
“I’m coming here saying the same thing every week in that we’ve had some good efforts, but there’s some stuff (we’re doing) that you’re not going to get away with at this level.
“You’re going to pay a price, and that’s what we’ve done these past couple of weeks.”
The Storm now sit outside the top four and face a challenging trip across the ditch to play the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium in Round 20.