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NRL: Storm suffer Panthers wake-up call

Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy says his side got a huge reality check as they slipped to a 32-6 defeat against the Penrith Panthers in the Magic Round on Saturday night.

The Storm are priced at 11/4 to win the 2022 NRL grand final but the Panthers showed they are still the best side in the competition following the convincing win at Suncorp Stadium.

Munster not impressed

In fairness the Storm were missing some key players. Ryan Papenhuyzen and Reimis Smith both picked up injuries last week and then Jahrome Hughes was ruled out just before the game with a calf injury.

However star playmaker Cameron Munster was not using that as an excuse and says the team they had out there should have done a lot better.

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"We were poor. I don't care who we had out tonight, we still had a good enough team to give the Panthers a shake," he told the Nine Network straight after the game. "We looked like an under 12s team, we don't want to play like that next week."

Reality check

The Storm had been sweeping teams aside in the lead-up to the clash with the Panthers but were brought back down to earth over the 80 minutes.

"It was probably a game we needed. That was a good come-down for us, perhaps we're not going as good as other people thought," Bellamy said. "If they didn't think it was going to be a bit different, well, we got a shock.

"We haven't been in the trenches like tonight. I think we probably got what we deserved."

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