Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy isn’t dwelling on what might have been in their 14-12 loss to Brisbane.
The home side was unable to capitalise on a glut of possession and territory including 11 line drop-outs.
Injured superstars Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater as well as try-scoring winger Marika Koroibete were sorely missed with the team lacking finishing polish.
They also fell to a tight loss last round without the trio.
Slater’s season is over with the fullback requiring shoulder surgery this week, while Koroibete is due back from a thumb injury in round 20.
Cronk’s recovery from a knee operation was tracking well although Bellamy said he wasn’t sure if he was a chance of playing Monday week against the Bulldogs.
“I haven’t really spoken to the medical staff about when he will be back,” Bellamy said of Cronk.
“I know he’s doing really well and the knee’s coming along fine so we will certainly look at that during the week and see what happens.”
While Cronk’s replacement Ben Hampton toiled hard, he lacked the class and experience of the Test No.7.
Bellamy said they had to play with the cards they had been dealt.
“It’s impossible to replace a guy like Cooper Cronk in your club team,” Bellamy said.
“Taking a player like him out does make it harder,” he said.
“But that’s not been fair on Benny Hampton who hasn’t played the games he has.
“Cooper might have made a difference and a few others might have as well but the might-bes don’t matter, it’s what happens out there and who we have available.”
Cameron Munster looked to be firming up Slater’s fullback role with a strong showing that earnt the praise of Bellamy.
“Cameron was pretty good there; he made some good runs and is pretty good under the high ball so you couldn’t have expected too much more than what he gave us,” Bellamy said.