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Don't write off Broncos says Storm's Smith
Wayne Heming
11:18 AEST Sat Aug 18 2012
Melbourne captain Cameron Smith
Melbourne captain Cameron Smith says Brisbane are not out of the NRL finals hunt.

Having only recently emerged from their own form slump Melbourne captain Cameron Smith has warned against writing off Brisbane's finals aspirations following their fifth-straight NRL loss.

Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk produced yet another match-winning field goal, just five weeks after securing the State of Origin series for Queensland at the same ground, edging the Storm home 19-18 in front of a huge crowd of 41,467 on Friday night.

The loss sent the six-time premiers crashing into a scrap for a finals spot with a tough away clash against Manly next weekend before finishing off at home with Penrith in round 26.

But both Smith and Storm coach Craig Bellamy saw enough in Brisbane's effort to warn they were not done with yet.

"You never write a Broncos team off," said Smith who made 43 tackles.

"I was speaking to Corey Parker, Hodgo (Justin Hodges) and Matty Gillett and told them it reminded me of the (losing) patch that we went through.

"They didn't do too much wrong, their completion rate was probably a lot better than ours.

"They just need some bounces to go their way. It's exactly the way we felt when we came off the ground scratching our head and asking where we went wrong."

Bellamy said Brisbane played like a team fighting for their life.

"I thought we were getting on top in the second half but they showed some legs which they haven't been doing in the last few weeks."

Bellamy also talked up his side's second gritty performance in as many weeks.

"There were some real positive signs for us and I told the players after the game they reminded me of some of the old Storm teams who hung in during some really tough periods," he said.

Bellamy said a rare error by the Broncos when five-eighth Ben Hunt had the ball slapped from his hands, had presented Cronk with the opportunity to win the game in the 73rd minute.

The key play could have been ruled a Melbourne knock-on but Brisbane's luck has been out on 50-50 calls for a few weeks.

Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin refused to make excuses by blaming Hunt for the turnover that led to Cronk's field goal.

"I don't think he dropped it, it's just a call that happens," he said.

"It's frustrating but we were a little better than last week (against the Bulldogs).

"If we keep showing up, we'll get there.

"It was one of those nights again. They got a try off a 50-50 call and a ball hitting the post.

"There wasn't struck match in it and we've just got to better next week and something will turn for us.

"The effort is there, that's not an issue. The guys are playing their backside off at the moment and if we keep that up we'll end up where we want to be."


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