Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy is giving his Storm players a chance to make amends after most likely blowing their chances of a top-four NRL finish.
Ahead of their round-22 clash with Gold Coast at AAMI Park on Sunday, Bellamy said their shock loss to the Wests Tigers last round had put a large dent in their title aspirations.
The Storm blew a 10-point lead to lose 34-16 to the bottom-placed side and fall to sixth on the ladder, four points behind fourth-placed South Sydney.
“It’s going to be tough to catch them after last week, without a doubt,” Bellamy said.
“We can’t focus on that, we just have to focus on our performance and hopefully results will look after themselves.”
He said alarm bells were ringing after the lacklustre effort against the Tigers.
But on the back of two strong performances against St George Illawarra and Penrith heading into the Tigers’ loss, he felt they deserved another chance before he started swinging the axe.
“In the two weeks before, we played pretty good so, while the review was frank and honest, I don’t need to go too far.
“It’s a chance to atone this weekend.”
Despite their usually contrasting positions on the ladder, matches between the two have been tight, with the Titans taking the points last season in Melbourne.
The past five games have been decided by eight points or less and, in their past three meetings, an average of 47 points have been scored.
The Titans, who broke through for a 10-point win over Parramatta on Monday night, have been boosted by the return of captain Nate Myles from a shoulder injury.
Bellamy said it would be another challenge for his team, who had struggled this season in games against lower-ranked sides.
“The Titans have got a pretty good record down here and have beaten us two or three times in the last five games,” Bellamy said.
“They’ve had a lot of injuries but, this week, they’ve got as good a side on paper as they’ve got so that’s another little awakening for us.
“To have Nate Myles back is its a big advantage for them.”