Storm see defence as key to NRL win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm see defence as key to NRL win

By Melissa Woods 10/04/2009 02:00:56 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne's lacklustre attack has been heavily criticised yet prop Jeff Lima says it's their defence that needs to lift against Penrith in Saturday night's NRL clash at Olympic Park.

The Storm were shock 18-6 losers to the Gold Coast last Saturday night at home, their star-studded backline faltering in only their fourth loss at home in 45 games.

Coach Craig Bellamy immediately identified their "poor attitude" at the start of the match as a crucial factor and Lima said their defence was also key.

"Our defence, we've just got to be a bit tighter, we were a bit loose around the ruck," Lima said.

"We've had a couple of training sessions where we've done a lot of tackling skills and things like that so hopefully this week things will be alright."

While Melbourne are coming off a comprehensive loss, the Panthers have found some good form.

After seeing off troubled defending premiers Manly, they backed up five days later to topple the Wests Tigers by 20 points.

The Storm have won their past four matches against Penrith but are dismissing such records after falling to the Titans who they had flogged the previous two meetings.

"They (Penrith) have won two games in a row now so they're at the top of their game at the moment," Lima said.

"We've just got to get in there and do what we're good at and put in our Melbourne Storm performance."

New Zealand forward Sika Manu, who hasn't played this year due to a hamstring injury, is set to take his place in the line-up providing some much-needed sting in the side.

NSW prop Brett White also hasn't played due to foot problems, still frustratingly recovering from his initial operation five months ago.

The injury, which is known as "turf toe" and affects the base of his toe, was only expected to take eight weeks to heal yet he is still a few weeks away from playing.

Lima admitted the club was missing the experience and workload of White.

"It's pretty hard with Whitey not there, he's a really good player, a good defender.

"But in saying that we've got some good depth in our club in Aiden Tolman and Scott Anderson."

Penrith have stuck with their winning side for the trip to Melbourne, with young playmaker Wade Graham continuing to give the team more direction in attack.

Bellamy has again named Greg Inglis as his five-eighth but may yet reshuffle his line-up and start hooker Cameron Smith there, with Inglis in the centres and Ryan Hinchcliffe the new rake.

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