Rarely do you see a coach happy despite suffering a loss, but for Storm coach Craig Bellamy, he was pleased with the game – on the basis that his side performed infinitely better than they did last week, in their shock loss to the Canberra Raiders.
With the loss tonight coming at the hands of the North Queensland Cowboys, who seem to have rekindled the magical like bond between Johnathan Thurston and Matt Bowen – Bellamy cited huge improvements on his side’s performance from one week to the next.
“I thought there was some really good signs out there,” Bellamy said.
“It was pretty even and I thought the Cowboys played really well but we were very competitive and there was some really good improvement in our defence and our attitude to defence so hopefully we’ve turned the corner.”
The loss is the first time since 2002, that the Storm have lost three matches in a row – and the first time since 2005, that they have lost three home games in a row.
For the Cowboys, it was a surprise performance from centre Kane Linnett that stole the show – with a helping hand from the usual maestro, in Thurston.
The win was marred by an injury to the NRL’s leading try-scorer however, with Ash Graham suffering ankle ligament damage, and a suspected fractured fibula – with scans on Monday to confirm the extent of the injury.
“It was a tremendous effort,” said Cowboys coach Neil Henry.
“It was a high quality game, end to end stuff, some great attack there and some desperate defence.
“We had to hang in, we were a bit banged up toward the end … it’s been a long time since we’ve got a couple of points down here.”