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Storm need to be more ruthless: Slater

By Ian McCullough 21/07/2009 05:56:26 PM Comments (0)

Billy Slater says Melbourne need to rediscover their ruthless touch if they are to have any chance of reaching a fourth successive NRL grand final.

The Queensland fullback, who went head to head once again with NSW star Jarryd Hayne in his side's 18-16 defeat by Parramatta on Monday night, said the Storm needed to take an important lesson from the loss.

"We are still fourth on the ladder and there is still seven weeks left in the season," Slater said.

"It would have been a good game to watch if you are a Parramatta supporter, but we got left on the blocks a little bit at the start.

"It took us until the last 20 minutes to realise that if we use the football we can do something, which was pretty disappointing.

"We have to start playing some good football again or we may as well finish ninth.

"We need to get back to where we were a couple of weeks ago where we were tearing teams apart.

"We need to get results, then we can worry about the ladder."

Slater said he enjoyed filling in as an emergency hooker midway through the second half after Dallas Johnson, who had stepped in for injured captain Cameron Smith, was forced off the field with a neck problem.

"We were a little bit light on numbers today with Cam being out, but I am happy to step in and do a job for the team where I am needed," Slater said.

He also played down a couple of on-field spats with Hayne, who came out on top in the battle of the two form fullbacks in the game.

"It's all good, it is what footy is all about and what people pay to come and see," he said.

"He (Hayne) gave me a bit, I gave him a bit, it is just football."

Slater said the promising debut performance of Luke Kelly was a positive for the Storm with the 19-year-old from Katherine, in the Northern Territory, showing glimpses of a bright future with a try assist for Ryan Hoffman with only his second touch.

"There have been some superb young players that have come through here at the Storm and Lukey Kelly is another one who looks the part," Slater said.

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