Cameron Smith of the Storm.
Cameron Smith of the Storm. JULIAN SMITH

Storm laughs off 'Referee Smith' jibe

THE Melbourne Storm is happy to take the high ground - and two-game buffer on top of the NRL ladder - and laugh off Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan's sledge towards Cameron Smith.

Flanagan accused the Storm and Smith of questionable slow-play tactics in the Sharks' bitter 18-13 loss at home on Thursday night.

"We come to expect it from him," Storm football director Frank Ponissi said.

"Every time we seem to beat the Sharks it's never really due to our great performances.

"It always seems to be something to do with the referee not policing a particular area.

"It's water off a duck's back ... we'll just enjoy the victory."

Smith paced the Storm's come-from-behind win with yet another masterful display.

Smith finished the night with two try assists, three conversions and a game-high 50 tackles - 20 more than the best Shark.

Flanagan lamented the loss at Shark Park.

"They were at their best wrestle, Melbourne Storm today," Flanagan said.

"It was slow, it was frustrating. Referee Smith did a good job."

Meanwhile, the Storm expects the NSW Origin II Jordan McLean (fractured cheekbone) to miss four to six weeks.

"It's a blow for both the team and himself personally ... he was knocking on the door for Origin, he would have definitely been in the squad again for Origin II," Ponissi said.

News Corp Australia


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