Storm's heart gone, says Mortimer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm's heart gone, says Mortimer

By David Beniuk 10/05/2010 07:25:00 PM Comments (0)

The Melbourne Storm's heart has stopped pumping and that could spell embarrassment for the rest of the NRL season, says the man who picked up the pieces after the Bulldogs' salary cap scandal, Steve Mortimer.

The Storm's crushing 36-14 loss to Brisbane at what was meant to be a celebration of the opening of their new Stadium, AAMI Park, on Sunday caused coach Craig Bellamy to declare his side's points-less season wasn't all over.

But with the Storm looking down the barrel of a tough six-week State of Origin period from next week, when as many as six players and Blues coach Bellamy will be preoccupied, Mortimer warned the club's ability to play for pride only will be massively tested.

"The players need an incentive," Mortimer told AAP on Monday.

"You need to be able to strive for something.

"It doesn't make sense and I just hope that the NRL have the humility and the fairness to reassess.

"That has to happen because all of a sudden you've got a heart pumping.

"At the moment there's no heart pumping anymore."

Asked if the side could spiral downwards during the tough Origin period, Mortimer said: "Absolutely. The only positive is it gives Craig Bellamy a chance to see what guys are up for it for next year."

Brisbane have traditionally been the club most burned by Origin and former Broncos and Queensland star Ben Ikin said the series affected different players in different ways.

Melbourne's stars could return to the NRL season revitalised.

"If they go away and win a fifth-straight series it might re-energise them," he told AAP.

"They come back to Melbourne and it's broken up what would have been a long, arduous season because they're not playing for points."

Ikin said the Storm youngsters called on during Origin would be under less pressure than those in recent years at the Broncos.

"There's not a season riding on it if the boys who do get a crack in first grade don't step up and win the game," he said.

"There probably won't be the pressure-cooker environment that there normally would be."

He said the post-Origin come-down some players spoke of usually came after a losing series.

"Some guys come out and want to take on the world once they've lost an Origin series," he said.

"If I'd strung a couple of ordinary games together for Queensland and we'd lost the series, my confidence would have been affected.

"It's a very personal thing."

In other NRL news, Newcastle's Jarrod Mullen will be sidelined for 2-3 weeks with ankle syndesmosis, while the Wests Tigers are likely to name halfback Robert Lui (ankle) for Sunday's heritage round clash with South Sydney at the SCG.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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