Storm star Tariq Sims gives a one-word answer when asked what Melbourne have to improve on – and it speaks volumes about their shocking start to the year
- Sims says Storm need to be better at ‘everything’
- Storm have had back-to-back losses in 2023
- Melbourne hasn’t been 1-3 since 2004
New recruit Tariq Sims says the Storm has to be better in ‘everything’ they do as the NRL heavyweights desperately try to avoid their worst start to a season since 2004.
The Storm was able to keep their incredible round 1 record alive when they beat the Eels in the season opener, but it’s been downhill since then with back-to-back losses to the Bulldogs and Titans who both missed the finals in 2022.
Cameron Munster didn’t play in those losses and he hasn’t been the only one missing, with superstar Ryan Papenhuyzen one of the many important players out injured.
The signs aren’t great for a side that prides itself on getting the job done no matter who is out, and coach Craig Bellamy is clearly frustrated with a defence that has leaked 64 points in the past fortnight.
The Storm plays the Wests Tigers at home on Friday night and should be too strong for their winless opponents, but the alarm bells will be going off everywhere if they slump to another defeat.
New recruit Tariq Sims (pictured) says the Storm has to be better in ‘everything’ they do as the NRL heavyweights desperately try to avoid their worst start to a season since 2004
The Storm kept their incredible round one record alive when they beat the Eels in the season opener, but it’s all been downhill since then
Melbourne hasn’t been 1-3 since 2004 when they eventually got their act together to make the second week of the finals.
They did start the 2000 season 0-4 after they won the title a few months earlier, and it was a 70-10 win in the grand final rematch in round 5 that sparked them into life as they again qualified for the top eight.
The Storm did get off to a slow start in 2021 when they went down narrowly to the Eels and Panthers to be 1-2, but they then won 19 straight to clinch the minor premiership.
It’s why the proud club is desperate to bounce back after an uncharacteristically poor showing on the Gold Coast.
‘We need to be better with the ball and without the ball. There are no ifs and buts about it, we need to be better,’ Sims said.
‘We need to be more disciplined. Our handling and our contact … everything needs to be better. It comes down to us players at the end of the day, and what better day to do it then now.’
Sims was one of the injured players who missed the start of the season, but he returned last week and scored with his second touch for his new club.
‘It was a surreal experience to be given my jersey,’ the veteran said.
Melbourne hasn’t been 1-3 since 2004, when they eventually got their act together to make the second week of the finals
The proud club is desperate to bounce back against the last-placed Wests Tigers on Friday after an uncharacteristically poor showing on the Gold Coast
‘The players and the people that have come before us at the club are phenomenal. To be able to represent the club and be player 230 is really special to me.’
Sims wasn’t the only one to return last week, with powerhouse centre Justin Olam a shock inclusion after fracturing his arm in the trials.
Olam was expected to be sidelined for up to two months but didn’t let the early diagnosis upset him given guys like Papenhuyzen and Christian Welch have been dealing with much longer lay-offs.
‘It was disappointing, but as I walked out, I saw all the boys on the bench watching the game,’ Olam said as he reflected on the injury in Geelong.
‘It made me think to myself that a fractured bone is going to be 6-8 weeks. We’ve had boys sit out more than a year, so that made me be grateful for whatever has happened to me. I wasn’t frustrated, I was just keen to get back with the boys.
‘I thought it was going to be longer, but my healing progress was going really well. First game I was a bit nervous, but as soon as I got on the field, everything went out the window. Hopefully, I can play well.’
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk