Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith says his team’s form has been good enough to be sitting alongside the NRL front-runners.
Instead, the Storm are seventh on the competition table after two wins and two losses and have the chance to go into the black when they host the Warriors on Easter Monday.
Smith said his team was feeling positive about their start to the season, with their two defeats coming in a golden point loss to the Cowboys and a two-point defeat by Manly.
He felt they had been better than their ladder position suggested.
“We’ve had a pretty tough start with one game at home in four weeks and we haven’t played against mugs, we’ve played against good sides,” Smith said on Thursday.
“We’re playing some pretty good football and there’s a lot of things to like about our game at the moment.
“We can match it with the best teams in the competition. We’re three points on the scoreboard away from being four from four and we’d all be feeling a little bit differently if that was the case.”
The Warriors are a danger team for Melbourne, with the Auckland-based side taking the points on three of their past five visits.
“Every time we play the Warriors they turn up and complete around 90 per cent,” Smith said.
“It’s like they save their best football for the Storm games.
“There’s no hiding the fact that we need to hold on to the football better than we did the other night (against North Queensland).
Former Storm forward Ryan Hoffman joined the Warriors this season, with the Melbourne life member lining up to play his 250th NRL game against his old club.
“He’s actually been playing really well for the Warriors and a lot of people are saying he’s the buy of the year,” Smith said.
“It would have been nice to see him run out for his 250th match in a purple jersey but it’s not to be.
“I personally hope he plays well in his milestone game and if we can get two points and he plays well, we will all be happy.”