Melbourne Storm should be ready for Knights

MAROONS skipper Cameron Smith is set to break the record for most Origin appearances. Picture: Julian Smith, AAP.
MAROONS skipper Cameron Smith is set to break the record for most Origin appearances. Picture: Julian Smith, AAP.

IT'S not often Storm coach Craig Bellamy sends a message to his players publicly, but he gave his forwards a serve straight after their 14-6 loss to Cronulla on Monday night.

Unless they have very short memories, they should be fired up and highly motivated against Newcastle today after Bellamy  suggested he had never seen a side score all their points through the middle as the Sharks did in his 14 seasons as a coach.

Veteran Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith was also filthy at the meek performance, as was halfback Cooper Cronk who shouldered a lot of blame for the loss, saying his form had suffered because of his off-field contract talks.

"I'd like to think I can (separate them), but if I'm completely honest I'm not exactly stoked with the level of my performance in the last four weeks, so there probably is a little bit of weight there," Cronk said.

Melbourne will be without try-scoring winger Marika Koroibete after he was suspended for one game for tripping, with either Tony Tumusa and Richie Kennar the likely replacement.

Melbourne rarely turn in two poor games in succession, and back at AAMI Park bookmaker Sportsbet have them their hottest favourite of round five at $1.13.

The Knights are rated $6.25 outsiders to cause what would be the upset of the round, with very few takers.

Newcastle was very solid in the first half against the Warriors last weekend, before being buried under an avalanche of second-half points in the 40-18 loss.



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