Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith is at a loss to explain his NRL team’s erratic form.
But he’s clearly annoyed.
The Storm have twice this season lost to the team running last on the NRL ladder, with their shock defeat to Wests Tigers last round costing them in the top four race.
They dropped to sixth, two games off the pace of the fourth-placed Rabbitohs.
“I’m pretty annoyed, I think everyone is,” Smith said.
“Leading into the last five weeks, it would have kept us in touch with the top four.
“Instead we are a few games back from the top four and trying to stay in the top eight now.
“Coming up against a team that was running last on the table, no disrespect to the Wests Tigers, but if we play to our capabilities we should have taken the two points.”
Five of their nine losses have come against sides filling the bottom half of the table, including their round eight defeat by then last-placed Manly.
Smith was aware of their tendency to drop off against those teams but couldn’t explain why.
He said at the post-match review the team was also at a loss.
“You go into a review after a match like that and you ask the questions why we would play like that in the game,” Smith said.
“Everyone was quite stuck for the right answer.
“It has been a bit of a struggle for us which is strange.
“When we play a team that is not doing so well, we struggle. It is puzzling at the very least.
“For me that is a sign of complacency at times.”
They will again be tested by Gold Coast, who are sitting 14th on the ladder, at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon.
Smith said defence would be a big focus at training after conceding a season-high 34 points.
“What probably made it worse is these guys were last on the table and they scored 34 points, which was the most disappointing point of the game.
“It was just a bit frustrating given we were so good the previous two weeks.”