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After guiding the Storm to a memorable victory over the New Zealand Warriors last week halfback Matt Orford says he has discarded some of the demons that have continued to haunt him after failing to seize victory against Brisbane three weeks ago.
Orford?s 41 metre penalty goal with just ten minutes remaining secured the Storm?s best win of the season against the Warriors at Ericsson Stadium last Saturday and moved Melbourne into sixth position on the NRL ladder.
The result was in stark contrast to the round 19 clash with the Broncos where Orford missed a golden opportunity to seal a win against Brisbane in extra time after he failed to convert a field-goal attempt from close range.
?It?s a different feeling this time compared to the Brisbane game,? Orford admitted.
?Making that (Warriors) kick really puts the Broncos miss in the past and helps you to forget that disappointment.
?You tend to carry those sort of things around for a little while especially because the Brisbane game was so important.?
With the game in the balance and both sides looking to unlock the twelve-all scoreline, Orford calmly elected to kick for goal after centre Steven Bell was held down too long in a Warriors tackle.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy ? who was pacing the sidelines for the first time this year - admitted to not offering any advice when the option of taking the long-range penalty arose.
??Ox? (Orford) looked over to me on the bench and I said ?you make the decision, you?re out there not me,? Bellamy quipped following the match.
?I must admit I was a bit worried about him (Orford) getting the distance to be quite honest.?
But 26-year-old Orford had no hesitation in lining up the kick from over 40 metres out on a slight angle.
?I was fairly confident in taking the kick, I was pretty much on my maximum distance but I still knew I could land it,? the halfback said.
Just moments before following a Marcus Bai try, Orford had sprayed the conversion attempt horribly much to the delight of the Auckland crowd.
?I missed seeing it (attempted try conversion), but I heard the crowd laughing at it,? Bellamy added.
The Storm?s rookie coach has been reluctant to speculate on the Storm returning to the finals this year but Orford believes if Melbourne can build on the crucial Auckland win - starting with this Sunday?s match against the Bulldogs at the Sydney Showgrounds ? they will move closer to reaching the post-season.
?If we can take some confidence away from Saturday?s match and pick up some more wins we?ll go well along way to securing a finals berth,? Orford said.
?I haven?t played finals yet and that?s one of my dreams because anything can happen in finals football.
?They (finals) bring the best out of players so I?m really striving to get there and I?ll do anything I can to be there.?
Meanwhile Melbourne forwards Cameron Smith and Mitchell Sargent have both been charged with a grade one dangerous throw on Warriors? prop Jerry Seu Seu.
Smith was originally the only Storm player placed on report for the tackle in the 46th minute but on review Sargent has also been booked.
STORM TRAINING THIS WEEK: Tuesday ? 2pm, Gosch?s Paddock Wednesday ? 10am, Gosch?s Paddock Thursday ? 2pm, Olympic Park Saturday ? 10am, Olympic Park For further information contact James Avery: Phone (03) 9421 3222 Mobile: 0411 623 024 [email protected]