Storm face test of character: Waldron - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm face test of character: Waldron

By Steve Jancetic and Samantha Broun 13/08/2009 07:22:41 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne boss Brian Waldron has described Monday's trip to Newcastle as a test of character for a Storm side looking to pick up the pieces in the wake of the drama surrounding Test ace Greg Inglis.

The Storm will seek to make football their focus following a week from hell, a week which saw them lose the services of their best player. Inglis was stood down from club duties as a result of assault charges being levelled at him.

While the loss of Inglis will no doubt affect the side's game plan given he is one of the most gifted player's on the planet, Waldron admitted to having some concern over the mental state of the remainder of the squad.

"I think they're attempting to manage it in a very mature way," Waldron said of Inglis' teammates.

"They've got a job to do on Monday night. It's a test of their character I think, how they manage and how they perform.

"He's (Inglis) out at the moment and that's just the way it's going to be for whatever period of time but we just need to manage that."

Inglis was charged following an alleged altercation at his Altona Meadows home on Sunday morning - from which girlfriend Sally Robinson was left sporting a black eye.

The Storm still hold out some hope of having Inglis back before the finals, but there would need to be a major development in the assault case for that to occur.

The reality is, if the Storm are going to make it to a fourth straight grand final, they are going to have to do it without their talismanic centre.

That means it's going to be left up to the likes of representative stars Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk to carry the side.

"They've got a role to play. They play roles every week on and off the field and their role onfield is to perform and off is to carry themselves with respect and dignity," Waldron said of the squad.

"Hopefully they'll do that and I'm confident they will."

The Storm won't be the only side whose mental state will under the spotlight on Monday night, with the Knights also looking to get their campaign back on track.

Much has been made of the way the players have responded to the news that coach Brian Smith would be walking out on the final year of his deal in 2010. But they were putting on a brave face this week.

A Knights spokesman denied there had been any thought given to a crisis meeting to address the three-game losing streak.

"The team's not thinking they're in crisis," the spokesman said.

"It has been business as usual. It's just about getting a win."

Camaraderie appeared high when the side took part in a session of paintball on Wednesday. Chief executive Steve Burraston earlier this week issued a call to arms asking Knights fans to pack EnergyAustralia Stadium to help the side overcome the Storm.

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