There was a lot curiosity main into this season about how the Storm would fare after their best participant of all time, Cameron Smith, hung up the boots.
Remarkably, they broke data and gained the minor premiership. However they bowed out of race in final weekend’s preliminary closing in opposition to the Panthers.
That shock loss has put the blowtorch on their celebrity five-eighth Cameron Munster. 10 months in the past he was up there as probably the greatest within the sport after successful the premiership with Melbourne after which backing it up with an inspirational efficiency for Queensland as they shocked New South Wales with a shock collection win.
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Munster was nicely beneath his greatest final Saturday. In truth, majority of his season has been beneath what we’re used to seeing from the 27-year-old. He had a quiet begin to the yr however actually discovered his mojo within the final month, solely to fall flat when it mattered most.
League legend Laurie Daley believes it may need one thing to do with the absence of Smith — and mentioned the Storm might want to handle Munster’s “flighty” situation within the low season.
“With Cameron Munster, he’s such an exquisite participant, however he can get a bit frantic throughout a sport and he’s at all times had Cameron Smith in his group to tug him again into line,” Daley instructed Sky Sports activities Radio’s Large Sports activities Breakfast.
“I feel you want a robust chief with Cameron Munster and also you want these good resolution makers round him as a result of when he begins to do his personal factor, you want somebody to tug him into line and get him to deal with what the group wants, somewhat than what Cameron needs to do.
“I feel previously, that’s why they’ve had that success with him, as a result of Cameron (Smith) or Cooper (Cronk), whoever it’s, they go ‘Cam, we all know you’ve obtained nice potential however we’d like you to do that somewhat than you go by yourself and do one thing else.’ He fitted into that system.
“This yr he’s been just a little bit flighty in a few of the issues that he’s executed and I reckon there’s been nobody there to really go ‘hey, oi, do that, not that’ they usually’ve simply let him go hoping that it was going to be one of the best resolution.
“I feel that’ll be one thing they might handle within the low season and sit down with him and go ‘Cameron, that is what we’d like from you if we’re going to go to that subsequent stage. And that is what we’re on the lookout for’.”
“So I feel Craig, whereas he’d be proud of the way in which his group performed this yr, I feel behind his thoughts, he in all probability at all times felt at some stage they have been going to overlook that management of Cameron Smith.
“That for me occurred on the weekend. They missed Cameron Smith, they missed his management.”
Daley’s tackle Munster got here after a disillusioned Storm fan rang into Large Sports activities Breakfast to say that they might be blissful to see the star No.6 go away for the NRL enlargement group.
Regardless of being contracted to Melbourne till the tip of 2023 on a million-dollar wage, Munster admitted final month that he’d be curious about becoming a member of the second Brisbane group which is about to be rubber-stamped shortly to hitch the competitors in 2023.
“I can perceive (the caller’s) frustration as a result of it’s not nice if you’ve obtained a marquee participant speaking about the opportunity of shifting on in two yr’s time… You’re speaking about two yr’s time, not subsequent yr,” Daley mentioned.
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It comes after Information Corp journalist Paul Kent mentioned Munster is “all around the store” and that his enlargement admission couldn’t have been good for the group on the eve of the finals.
“Munster’s come out and mentioned he needs to play with a brand new franchise and be coached by Wayne Bennett,” he instructed Triple M.
“He’s a wild cat. He’s all around the store. It’s fascinating when a few occasions now that Cooper Cronk has clipped him for placing his foot in his mouth. Munster behaves in a really non-Storm manner.
“Storm don’t prefer it, however his expertise has been sufficient they’ve allowed it due to the way in which he’s.
“I feel sooner or later when they’re dropping gamers and Munster continues to say issues like earlier than the finals when he mentioned he wished to play for the enlargement group.
“That’s not good for group tradition.”
Kent additionally believes no Cameron Smith was a giant issue that contributed to not solely Storm’s prelim loss, but additionally Munster failing to fireside.
“They began nervously and it was an un-Melbourne-like begin. There have been passes in the direction of the tip of the sport that have been touchdown on the bottom. Blokes have been lacking their mark,” he mentioned.
“Cameron Munster, who has stepped up into that function because the main participant in that group, I wouldn’t say he went lacking.
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“I feel through the years that when Cameron Munster begins to get just a little bit frantic, Cameron Smith was at all times there to calm him down and to refocus him and to getting him doing what he does nicely.
“With out Cameron Smith it actually tolled on Melbourne.
“It was the nerves and the weird begin they’d all of it contributed.
“In direction of the tip after they wanted somebody to settle all of it down they’d no person there to try this. That’s what value them.”