Premiership-winning captain Brad Fittler has questioned Melbourne’s attack after they were held to their equal-lowest score of the NRL season on Saturday.
The Storm will appear in just their second semi-final under the current finals format after being upset by Canberra in their qualifying final.
Despite entering the finals with the league’s best attack, Craig Bellamy’s men were only able to muster one try against the Raiders at AAMI Park.
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And Fittler believes their lack of firepower has slowly become a concerning trend against fellow title contenders this year.
“I think the story is the Storm need to score more points,” Fittler said on Nine Network’s The Sunday Footy Show.
“It’s happened a lot against the best teams, really struggling to score tries.
“Against the (Sydney) Roosters they only got a couple of tries.”
The Storm have been widely praised for a remarkable season where their four losses were by a combined eight points.
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Their +331 points differential was by far the best in the league, however, Fittler has recognised a scoring drought against other top teams.
The minor premiers scored three tries in their loss to the Raiders in round 22, two against Manly in Round 19, and three against Cronulla in round eight.
They also managed just two in a triumph over the Sydney Roosters in round 15.
“I’ve always thought everyone’s getting used to what they’re doing,” Fittler said.
“As brilliant as it is, everyone’s getting used to it and just willing to defend it a little bit easier than they used to be able to.
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“Obviously no Billy Slater helps that a little bit with his speed around the back.
“And the other one that’s helping is Nelson (Asofa-Solomona) through the middle, finding some more of him, Ryan Papenhuyzenon the edges.
“Canberra did a great job but Melbourne have got to find more points.”
Storm captain Cameron Smith conceded Canberra – the league’s third best defensive team – strangled Melbourne out of the contest.
“There’s probably other teams in the competition that do a little bit more flashier stuff with the footy,” Smith said.
“But they’re a very tough defensive team.
“They don’t offer you a lot when you got the footy, so you’ve got to work extremely hard and you got ta be very clinical with the footy if you want to score.
“Points were at a premium. Obviously quite a low scoreline, typical of a final, really.
“But we just weren’t good enough in the end.”