Storm: more to us than the Big Three

Melbourne five-eighth Blake Green says the Storm is bigger than the “Big Three” and the State of Origin period is the time to prove it.

The Storm got their NRL premiership campaign back on track with an impressive 20-0 win over a sloppy Penrith at Pepper Stadium on Saturday night.

It came just a week after coach Craig Bellamy savaged his team as “soft as butter” after surrendering meekly in their 24-2 loss to the Sydney Roosters.

The defeat to the Roosters raised questions about the Storm’s premiership credentials, with the side suffering an apparent Origin hangover.

With Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Will Chambers backing up from Origin days earlier and Billy Slater missing due to a shoulder injury, the Storm had their pants pulled down by the Roosters.

Bellamy lamented that the side’s Origin stars were a standout in that match and the rest of the side offered little.

For the next month, the task before the Storm is to prove they are a force even without the “Big Three” of Smith, Cronk and Slater, who will be missing intermittently.

“We think it’s an exciting period for us,” Green said.

“We’ve got some good young kids that have been going really well in the Queensland Cup and really good at training and they’re going to get a chance to play their part in the team.

“I think that’s the best way that we can approach it – to be excited and approach it as an opportunity to perform well and we’ve got that chance next Monday night (against Parramatta) because we’re going to be missing all four of (Cronk, Smith, Slater and Chambers).”

Saturday’s performance against the Panthers would have given Bellamy hope they can negotiate the difficult Origin period and still come out the other side in touching distance of the top four.

Green had arguably his best game in Storm colours since joining the club this season, scoring two tries while his kicking game was also outstanding, making 257 metres with the boot.

Like so many journeymen before him, Green has uncovered his best football under Bellamy.

After failing to play consistent first grade during stints at Parramatta, Cronulla and Canterbury, the 28-year-old spent four years in the English Super League with Hull and Wigan and has returned a more experienced footballer.

His game management and ability to close out matches has blossomed at Melbourne, which he attributes to rubbing shoulders with Cronk, Slater and Smith.

“It’s something that they’ve been very good at for years, strangling teams and when they’re on top they just keep momentum and it’s hard to get it back,” he said.

“It’s something I’ve been watching closely and it’s something they’ve been helping with.”

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