It's the test we need
Melbourne Storm Captain Cameron Smith has declared Friday night's traditional ANZAC Day match-up with the Warriors as the test his side need following three losses in the last four rounds.
Travelling to Canberra in Round 7, Storm suffered a heart breaking last minute loss to the Raiders consigning them to ninth on the NRL table. Speaking to the media on Tuesday afternoon, Smith hoped his side will be up for the test, with a big crowd expected in Round 8.
"I think it is a great game for us, it is a great tester for us," Smith said.
"These guys (the Warriors) always prepare well against us and they always play well.
"Given the occasion, being an ANZAC Day game, its going to be a huge crowd, I think we've sold 23,000 tickets already - its going to be a huge match, particularly for our young guys that probably haven't played in front of a big crowd like this before in such a big game.
"It's going to be a huge test but we need it.
"We definitely need it at the moment because we're letting ourselves down with the way we are playing. So hopefully this kicks us off a bit."
Despite being the competition's third best attacking team statistically, Melbourne sit second for points conceded after seven matches in the NRL. Storm's defence is one area where plenty of focus has been made according to the captain.
"At the moment we are rated the second worse defence in the competition so that's clearly the area of our game where we are letting ourselves down," Smith said.
"That's due to being mentally tough, and at the moment we are not.
"We had an opportunity to win the football game on the weekend against the Raiders and we let them win the game in the dying moments when we shouldn't have."
While making strides forward over the weekend, minor lapses cost Melbourne dearly in Sunday's loss to the Raiders.
"There has been a fair bit of improvement," Smith said.
"There's still lapses in concentration and you just can't do that, not at this level, you can't switch off for one tackle because you get burnt.