Storm's Origin warriors must refocus - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm's Origin warriors must refocus

By Guy Hand 16/07/2009 06:22:03 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne and Queensland fullback Billy Slater admits having to put aside State of Origin rivalry following Wednesday's night of spite will be difficult for his NRL club.

Slater was one of several Storm players in a Maroons side which lost a fiery Origin III 28-16 at Suncorp Stadium.

Melbourne teammate Brett White was the NSW player who sparked the violent end to the match with a knockout blow to Maroons prop Steve Price, leading to mayhem in the dying minutes.

And NSW coach Craig Bellamy returns to the helm of the Storm on Friday after leading the Blues against several of his Melbourne stars.

All now face the task of putting aside an insult-riddled aftermath to the Origin finale and regrouping for Melbourne's clash with Parramatta on Monday night.

Slater admitted there are difficulties in putting aside rep rivalries.

"It is very hard, but we're professional athletes and now it happens all the time," Slater said.

"We play against New Zealand in the Tests, and two days after you've got to play with them for the Storm.

"It happens in Origin. Our coach is the NSW Origin coach and from now on he's our coach.

"Yeah, it's a little bit tough.

"But that's just football and you've got to get on with those things and the quicker you do, the better the benefits are for your team."

Both Storm skipper Cameron Smith - who bravely played most of Wednesday night's match with a shoulder injury - and star centre Greg Inglis are under post-Origin injury clouds.

Smith is the most pressing concern ahead of the Storm's clash with Parramatta, though the club decided not to send him for scans on the injury on Thursday.

Medical staff are likely to wait until Friday before making any firm prognosis on Smith, while Inglis has a corked leg and is expected to play against the Eels.

Slater said he expected Smith would try desperately to play on Monday night regardless of his fitness concerns.

"I'm no doctor but he played pretty much the whole game with this injury and he re-hurt it in the first tackle - it just shows you the character he has and the spirit he has for Queensland," Slater said.

"He's a tough character because he doesn't tell anybody he's got injuries, he just keeps going out there and putting on the jerseys."

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