Storm need to improve to win title: Smith

They have one hand firmly on the NRL minor premiership but Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith said there wasn’t too many happy faces in the Storm sheds following their last gasp 16-13 win over the Sydney Roosters.

The Storm snatched the three-point win an enthralling and at times bizarre contest fitting of a top-of-the table clash at AAMI Park.

Melbourne only need one more win from their remaining three matches to secure the JJ Giltinan Shield but Smith said the near-miss was a reminder the premiership race was far from over.

“It shows we’ve been a little bit consistent and that’s why we’re six points ahead,” Smith said.

“Sitting in the sheds I know everyone isn’t completely happy with where we’re at with our performances and we know that that result could have gone either way.

“We’re at absolutely no stage thinking that it’s us and then daylight, absolutely no way.”

Second-rower Joe Stimson, in his debut NRL season, was the man-of-the-moment, scoring in the 77th minute for his team to regain the lead.

The Roosters hit the front for the first time in the match four minutes earlier thanks to a Luke Keary field goal.

But in typical Storm fashion, the match was far from over.

The Roosters were on the wrong end of a 9-3 penalty count in the first half which had them trailing 10-6 after a penalty try, with the bunker ruling Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu had been taken out by Mitchell in the race to the tryline.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson said it shouldn’t have been awarded.

“I thought there was too much doubt for it to be a penalty try,” he said.

Melbourne’s lead was out to 12-6 until the 61st match when Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell converted Mitch Aubusson’s try from the sideline.

That tryscoring opportunity came when Vunivalu collected a kick and then attempted an unorthodox hurdle of two Roosters players, ending up on report which had Storm coach Craig Bellamy perplexed.

“I’m not quite sure what Suli was trying to do there … it was probably a bit of a brain fade,” Bellamy said.

“They scored on the end of that penalty so hopefully he learns a lesson and he doesn’t do it again.”

With Roosters co-captains Boyd Cordner and Jake Friend back in the line-up after long injury spells Robinson felt there was a lot of upside.

“I thought we played well and it was an improvement on last week but if we wanted to win the game we should have finished it off a bit better,” he said.

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