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Storm forward Christian Welch admits the highly structured Storm game plan will probably require some tinkering after a being outplayed 22-6 by the Raiders on Saturday night.

While not blaming the new rules for the loss, Welch said the likes of Josh Hodgson and George Williams thrived in the more frantic environment with the Storm not able to produce their best.

"I think it really suits the Raiders, their current style they play with Hodgson and playing ad-lib on the ad-line, it suits them well," Welch said on Monday.

"We're more renowned for structured play which doesn't suit as much so we'll have to adapt. We've had a few meetings today to look for areas we can improve.

"There were plenty of lessons to be learned from Saturday's performance, there are some new rules but we also just didn't perform that well, we completed at 60%, there were a fair few other areas of our game that need to improve."

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The likes of coach Craig Bellamy and skipper Cam Smith will no doubt already be thinking ways around the problem.

"The more football we can watch and review with the new rules and the single ref and adapting our game plan slightly [will help]," Welch added.

"Playing on the ad-line, playing what's in front of you and not necessarily waiting for that big play or shape we generally set up for to try and bring defence down, we'll see a lot more ad-lib play, flat, taking the team on and going at them through the middle will be a big area for most NRL teams and a big focus going forward."

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The faster pace and reduced stoppages could be bad news for some of the game's big boppers, Welch added.

"The really big boys in our game that have been cherished over the years might be sweating a little bit!" he said.

"Most big props would be sweating a little bit but there's some phenomenal athletes in our game. I was watching that Thursday game [between Brisbane and Parramatta] and Junior Paulo is one of the biggest props in the comp and I think he played 40 minutes straight.

"It might narrow down to some smaller and more mobile forwards but there's some incredible athletes who have the motor and ability to play big minutes in this new speed of a game at such a big size."

Despite the loss, Welch was happy to be back on the field in his first NRL appearance since rupturing an ACL halfway through 2019.

"It was really good; mentally it was a bit of a hurdle to get over," he said.

"I'd played a reserve grade game but NRL is a different intensity. Even though we had a pretty bad performance and obviously lost I was grateful to be back, I won't take it for granted playing in the NRL and playing at this club, I'm very grateful to be back playing NRL with the Melbourne Storm."

Looking ahead to Friday's game against the Rabbitohs, Welch was expecting them to hit back strongly from the Roosters loss on Friday.

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"They're a really strong, well-balanced side and the way the game's getting refereed, having a strong hooker is going to be a real strength for sides and they’ve got the Australian one," Welch said.

"He's probably the quickest hooker in the competition, Damien Cook, we'll be on high alert all week and doing our best to contain them.

"You look at their backline as well, it's an all-star backline so we'll be doing our best on those guys on our kick-chase and on early tackles to stop Damien Cook getting out and running rampant. It's happened to us before, in Sydney a couple of years ago we lost pretty bad there."

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.