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Melbourne's stars back depth of squad during heat of Origin firestorm

Date

Liam Napier

Warriors 12 Storm 22

Storming to victory ... Cameron Smith scored a try and three conversions to help his side to the win in Auckland.

Storming to victory ... Cameron Smith scored a try and three conversions to help his side to the win in Auckland. Photo: Getty Images

MELBOURNE skipper Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk have downplayed the effects of an Origin hangover and backed the Storm to continue their ruthless season without the presence of their influential superstars.

Momentum and consistency can be derailed at this pivotal stage of the season as teams contribute large numbers of crucial players to the brutal Origin arena.

Tackled ...  Ryan Hoffman is pulled back by Simon Mannering.

Tackled ... Ryan Hoffman is pulled back by Simon Mannering. Photo: Getty Images

The Storm are hit especially hard. It is a common belief their success is built heavily on the ''big three'' - that of Smith, Cronk and Billy Slater. The threesome also form a key component of the Maroons' outfit. Given the trio's importance to both teams and the idea the Origin hangover will only get worse, concerns could be growing that the Storm might be on the cusp of a slump. The first week after playing at that peak level, players are still buzzing, riding high from the experience. But as the weeks roll on, that feeling can wane as the true strain begins to show.

''There's no doubt about that,'' Cronk said. ''I'd be lying if I said it wasn't like that. But that's what's required. That's life. That's the way it is and that's what is expected from us.

''Representing Queensland is a great honour and the same goes for [playing for] this club.''

Smith acknowledged the physical and mental toll Origin took on players. Last week the Storm had to play Brisbane, just two days after Queensland's series-opening victory in Melbourne.

''Myself, Cooper and Billy were feeling really good this week,'' Smith said. ''It was more last week, backing up two days after against the Broncos, we were a bit down.

''But Craig [Bellamy] and the medical staff do a great job with the representative players the last couple of years. They make a real point of resting us from training. Physically you can always get up for a game of football because that's what you love doing. But training coming out of Origin, it's such a big week … that can take it out of you.''

This Friday, the Storm meet Benji Marshall's Wests Tigers without their Origin stars. Some may suggest this would be the perfect time to knock over the NRL leaders, but Cronk has faith in the remaining squad to do the business.

The Maroons playmaker prickled at the notion Melbourne based their dominance around three men alone. ''These boys can stand up without us,'' he said.

''They've done that in the past.''

MELBOURNE 22 (W Chambers J Lowe C Smith G Widdop tries; C Smith 3 goals) bt WARRIORS 12 (K Hurrell M Vatuvei tries; J Maloney 2 goals) at Mt Smart Stadium. Referees: Matt Cecchin, Adam Devcich. Crowd: 20,487.

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NRL Season 2015

Round 1
Thu, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI 6vs SOU 36 Report Stats
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 42vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 24vs NZW 14 Report Stats
GCT 18vs WST 19 Report Stats
NQL 4vs SYD 28 Report Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 24vs CBY 18 Report Stats
CRO 20vs CBR 24 Report Stats
Mon, 09 MarTimes shown AEDT
STG 4vs MEL 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBY 32vs PAR 12 Report Stats
CRO 2vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 40vs GCT 0 Report Stats
MAN 24vs MEL 22 Stats
NQL 14vs NEW 16 Report Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 34vs SYD 26 Stats
CBR 6vs NZW 18 Report Stats
Mon, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST 22vs STG 4 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN 12vs CBY 16 Report Stats
BRI 44vs NQL 22 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 29vs PAR 16 Report Stats
CBR 20vs STG 22 Report Stats
MEL 36vs CRO 18 Report Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 20vs WST 6 Report Stats
GCT 18vs NEW 20 Report Stats
Mon, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD 20vs PEN 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 29vs SOU 16 Report Stats
WST 24vs CBY 25 Report Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 26vs PEN 14 Report Stats
CRO 22vs GCT 24 Report Stats
STG 12vs MAN 4 Report Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 16vs BRI 24 Report Stats
SYD 34vs CBR 6 Report Stats
Mon, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
NQL 18vs MEL 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
CBY 17vs SOU 18 Report Stats
GCT 16vs BRI 26 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MAN 16vs CBR 29 Report Stats
NEW 0vs STG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD 12vs CRO 20 Report Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR 6vs WST 22 Report Stats
MEL 30vs NZW 14 Report Stats
PEN 10vs NQL 30 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 22vs SYD 18 Report Stats
CRO 22vs NEW 6 Report Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR 16vs GCT 38 Report Stats
NZW 32vs WST 22 Report Stats
PEN 22vs MAN 12 Report Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
CBR 10vs MEL 14 Report Stats
STG 31vs CBY 6 Report Stats
Mon, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU 12vs NQL 30 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 28vs MAN 16 Report Stats
STG 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
GCT 32vs PEN 6 Report Stats
NQL 28vs NZW 24 Report Stats
MEL 17vs SYD 16 Report Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
WST 22vs CBR 30 Report Stats
NEW 22vs PAR 28 Report Stats
Mon, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO 18vs SOU 10 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 14vs WST 38 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
NZW 28vs GCT 32 Report Stats
NEW 24vs NQL 26 Report Stats
SYD 12vs STG 14 Report Stats
MEL 10vs MAN 12 Stats
BRI 28vs PAR 16 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
PEN 26vs CRO 18 Stats
SOU 22vs CBR 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI 8vs PEN 5 Report Stats
SYD 36vs WST 4 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR 56vs GCT 16 Stats
CRO 16vs NZW 20 Stats
NQL 23vs CBY 16 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN 30vs NEW 10 Stats
PAR 10vs MEL 28 Stats
Mon, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU 16vs STG 10 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CBY 10vs SYD 24 Stats
NQL 31vs BRI 20 Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR 13vs NZW 17 Report Stats
GCT 22vs CRO 23 Report Stats
MEL 16vs SOU 12 Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
STG 32vs CBR 18 Report Stats
NEW 22vs WST 12 Stats
Mon, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN 10vs PEN 11 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU 14vs PAR 12 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
WST 0vs NQL 8 Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR 34vs CBY 41 Stats
Mon, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW 18vs BRI 31 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN 20vs PAR 26 Stats
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
GCT 16vs SOU 22 Report Stats
CBR 12vs BRI 24 Stats
NQL 18vs MAN 14 Report Stats
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
NZW 24vs NEW 20 Stats
STG 42vs CRO 6 Stats
Mon, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD 24vs MEL 2 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI 44vs MAN 10 Report Stats
WST 20vs GCT 27 Report Stats
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW 22vs CBR 44 Stats
SOU 36vs NZW 4 Stats
PEN 0vs MEL 20 Report Stats
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
CRO 10vs SYD 4 Stats
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY 29vs STG 16 Stats
PAR 30vs NQL 36 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
WST 34vs SOU 6 Report Stats
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW 21vs SYD 25 Report Stats
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT 28vs CBY 14 Stats
Mon, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL 22vs PAR 26 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN 30vs WST 20 Report Stats
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CBR 20vs NQL 21 Report Stats
GCT 14vs NZW 36 Report Stats
CBY 24vs PEN 12 Report Stats
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW 28vs CRO 30 Report Stats
MEL 12vs BRI 14 Report Stats
Mon, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
STG 14vs SYD 19 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI 44vs NEW 22 Stats
SOU 20vs MAN 8 Report Stats
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW 30vs CBR 8 Stats
NQL 18vs CRO 24 Report Stats
PAR 16vs STG 12 Report Stats
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD 20vs GCT 10 Stats
WST 12vs PEN 35 Stats
Mon, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY 20vs MEL 4 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN 20vs SOU 6 Report Stats
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
STG 12vs NQL 18 Report Stats
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN 28vs CRO 16 Report Stats
Mon, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
WST 16vs PAR 28 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR 36vs NEW 22 Stats
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN 4vs SYD 24 Stats
CBY 8vs BRI 16 Stats
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW 28vs MEL 14 Report Stats
CRO 28vs STG 8 Report Stats
Mon, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
GCT 6vs MAN 38 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR 4vs CBY 28 Report Stats
MEL 52vs PEN 10 Report Stats
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR 20vs CRO 21 Report Stats
NEW 30vs GCT 2 Report Stats
STG 8vs SOU 24 Report Stats
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD 24vs NZW 0 Report Stats
BRI 42vs WST 16 Stats
Mon, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN 12vs NQL 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI 34vs GCT 0 Report Stats
WST 8vs SYD 33 Stats
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW 12vs MAN 32 Stats
MEL 22vs STG 4 Stats
SOU 52vs NEW 6 Stats
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN 24vs CBR 34 Report Stats
CBY 16vs CRO 18 Report Stats
Mon, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL 46vs PAR 4 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD 38vs CBY 28 Report Stats
WST 34vs MEL 16 Report Stats
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW 14vs CRO 18 Stats
NQL 32vs CBR 24 Stats
MAN 44vs BRI 14 Stats
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
STG 46vs NEW 24 Stats
SOU 20vs PEN 16 Report Stats
Mon, 03 AugTimes shown AEST
GCT 24vs PAR 14 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBY 19:45SUN
MAN vs SOU 19:45BO
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs STG 15:00Westpac Stadium
CRO vs NQL 17:30Remondis Stadium
PAR vs PEN 19:30TIO
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL vs GCT 14:00AAMI
NEW vs SYD 16:00HS
Mon, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR vs WST 19:00GIO Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
NQL vs SOU 19:451300 Smiles Stadium
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STG 19:45SUN
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
WST vs NEW 15:00CSS
PEN vs NZW 17:30Pepper Stadium
SYD vs PAR 19:30AS
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR vs MAN 14:00GIO Stadium
CBY vs GCT 16:00Central Coast Stadium
Mon, 17 AugTimes shown AEST
CRO vs MEL 19:00Remondis Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs PEN 19:45WIN
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU vs CBY 19:45ANZ
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
CRO vs WST 15:00Remondis Stadium
NZW vs NQL 17:30MSS
SYD vs BRI 19:30AS
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
GCT vs CBR 14:00Cbus Super Stadium
MAN vs PAR 16:00BO
Mon, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL vs NEW 19:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU vs BRI 19:45AS
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
MAN vs SYD 19:45BO
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CRO 15:00Pirtek Stadium
NEW vs CBY 17:30HS
MEL vs NQL 19:30AAMI
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
WST vs NZW 14:00CSS
GCT vs STG 16:00Cbus Super Stadium
Mon, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR vs PEN 19:30GIO Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MEL 19:45SUN
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD vs SOU 19:45AS
Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
PEN vs NEW 15:00Pepper Stadium
STG vs WST 17:30ANZ
NQL vs GCT 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CBR 14:00Pirtek Stadium
CRO vs MAN 16:00Remondis Stadium
CBY vs NZW 18:30ANZ
View All Fixtures
NRL Ladder 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D Pts
Brisbane Broncos 19 15 4 0 34
North Queensland Cowboys 19 15 4 0 34
Sydney Roosters 19 13 6 0 30
South Sydney Rabbitohs 19 12 7 0 28
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 19 11 8 0 26
Melbourne Storm 19 10 9 0 24
St George-Illawarra Dragons 19 9 10 0 22
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 19 9 10 0 22
View all
 

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