Rampant Storm warn there's more to come - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rampant Storm warn there's more to come

By Melissa Woods 12/09/2009 03:25:46 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne are refusing to get carried away by their emphatic defeat of Manly, saying they need to improve if they are to book their fourth NRL grand final appearance in as many years.

The Storm crushed the reigning premiers 40-12 at Etihad Stadium on Friday night in their qualifying final, with dashing fullback Billy Slater scoring four of the six-try haul.

They led 34-0 until the 69th minute, when Manly crossed twice in three minutes through Steve Matai and Kieran Foran.

Coach Craig Bellamy admitted he was surprised by the hefty margin of the win.

"You could be really critical and say we threw it away a bit at the end with a couple of tries but I couldn't have been happier with their effort," Bellamy said.

"I thought our defence was really good up until that point and I think our attack was really good.

"The way we trained and prepared I knew we were going to play well but never in my wildest dreams would have thought of that score."

However skipper Cameron Smith, who was another of the team's stars, said there was still plenty of work to do if they were to claim their second NRL title.

"This year we didn't really push too much on the minor premiership ... we've just concentrated on making each performance each week stronger than it was in the past and I think you've seen our performances build.

"But we're not going to get too carried away with the points we scored (against Manly), it was certainly a strong effort but you could see when they scored those points at the end we weren't satisfied with that, which is a good sign for us.

"Even though we 34 points up we weren't happy to let them over our tryline and I think that's a great thing leading into next week ... we know there's certainly areas we need to improve on."

Smith said if opposing teams hadn't already taken the fourth-placed Storm's tilt at the premiership seriously, they would be now.

"If teams were thinking that we weren't a chance, watching the game we would have popped up on the radar a little bit.

"We've learnt twice over the last three years that it doesn't matter really how good you go all year - we finished minor premiers three years in a row - but we've only got one premiership to show for it."

Bellamy heaped praise on the likes of Slater and Greg Inglis, but said it was complete team performance.

"Some of our no-names, our lesser lights, they were outstanding out there," Bellamy said.

"They had a lot of confidence during the week after training with these two guys next to me (Slater and Smith) but also the Johnsons and the Hoffmans and the Cronks that have been there before."

"I think these guys (the experienced players) they've all played big games, a lot of big games, and their experience really rubs off."

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