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In an amazing effort, considering they had lost five games in a row before their bye last weekend, Penrith displayed all the confidence of a top four side to walk away with two much needed points, from what has been known as ?The Graveyard? for visiting teams.
The Storm led 8-4 at half time through tries from Matt King and Matt Geyer, and the lead could have been bigger with Melbourne piling on the pressure in the final 15 minutes. However, they were unable to breakthrough a stubborn Panthers defence and were made to pay the ultimate price.
Early in the second half, a controversial forward pass call by the referee on Steven Bell who had put Billy Slater away for what looked a certain try shifted the momentum to the visiting side and they took full advantage of it running out clear winners.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy was at a loss to explain his team?s poor second half.
?Things were going good at half time, we played ok. I don?t know how many times we got tackled six inches short of the line, but things were going ok, we were in front,? said Bellamy.
?I was really disappointed with how we played the second half and I was just as disappointed with the man with the whistle. However, we didn?t need any help to turn the game Penrith?s way.
?It?s the worst half of footy since I?ve been here. Our effort went right away as soon as we got a bit of a set-back, it all seemed too hard (for the players).
?I can?t believe we can play that poor.
?I can handle putting a good effort in and getting beat, but to go down with a whimper like we did tonight just isn?t on.?
Bellamy also sent a clear message out to his players after the game.
?If that doesn?t change, some other things will be changing around the place.?