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Storm NRL star promises return to form
By Mike Hedge
20:27 AEST Mon Jul 30 2012
Melbourne Storm halfback Cooper Cronk.
Melbourne NRL halfback Cooper Cronk is confident hard work will snap the Storm's losing streak.

The Melbourne Storm continue their search for the basics of rugby league this week with the quest at least narrowed down to their defence.

The Storm tumbled to their fifth successive defeat last weekend, losing 26-18 to St George Illawarra, despite the return of star fullback Billy Slater.

The loss pushed them into third place on the NRL ladder and left halfback Cooper Cronk lamenting the failure of himself and his teammates to perform the simple tasks effectively.

"Whenever you're in this position it's about getting the basics really spot on," Cronk said.

"We're probably skimming over a few of the real basic things of football that make you win games."

But Cronk believes it is the basics of defence, rather than attack, that need to be rediscovered.

"I'm not worried about our attack at all," he said.

"The basis of the way Melbourne Storm plays football is our defence.

"We get a lot of confidence from our defensive game and that flows on to our attack."

Despite never having experienced a run such as the horror stretch the Storm has put together since round 16, Cronk says his faith in his team's fundamental abilities and in the coaching staff will lift them out of their slump.

"It's not that tough, it's a part of football," he said.

"You go through these stages, but your character will get you through and I'm very confident of the character of the playing group and the personnel we've got here.

"I've never been in this position before, but I imagine the way out of it is hard work.

"We might have to take a few steps backwards to move forward but we'll do the hard work and see what comes out the other side."

The Storm play 15th placed Penrith this weekend, an assignment that might normally promote confidence.

Except that their dismal streak includes a loss to last-placed Parramatta.