‘Absolute gobful’: Star turns on teammate
The Parramatta Eels and Melbourne Storm have turned in a round two thriller but the awful conditions appear to have bled into the visitors' moods.
Torrential rain lashed the game throughout, but the sides still delivered in spades in a 16-12 Eels' win.
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Just before halftime, Fox League sideline reporter Lara Pitt revealed the Storm's Cameron Munster gave Brandon Smith "an absolute gobful" after a terrible pass out of dummy half.
With four minutes left in the first half and the Storm attacking the Eels' line, Smith passed to Munster but the ball only just landed at the five-eighth's feet as he trapped it with his left boot and quickly got the ball on.
The play ended with a drop out after Josh Addo-Carr kicked for himself but the Eels' hooker Reed Mahoney cleared the ball over the dead ball line.
While it almost had a great result for the Storm, it was far from slick and Munster was reportedly furious with the pass out of dummy half.
"It's just an interesting verbal I have been noticing between Munster and his hooker Brandon Smith," Pitt said.
"Munster gave him an absolute gobful in the lead-up to that try, not happy with the service he hasn't been getting, it looked like, from his dummy-half. It will be interesting if they have a few words in the sheds about how their attack is going in the first half."
At halftime, someone who knows the inside of the Storm change rooms better than most, former premiership winner Cooper Cronk, told Fox League that rather than a rift between the pair, it was how their relationship was.
"I think it is normal to have a dig at Brandon Smith but I also think he wants Brandon's service to improve in these conditions," he said.
"I think Munster has that relationship with Brandon where they need to have that to and fro because Brandon's service needs to be at the level Smith had for Munster to do his thing.
"If he had done it to the bloke who played there last year it would have been: 'Excuse me sir, can you please pass it to me on the full'. But because of his relationship with Brandon he stands over the top of him, gives him a bit of a gobful."
It could be the first teething problems for a team in the aftermath of Cameron Smith's retirement decision, particularly as the team awaits Harry Grant's return from injury.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy said Grant may be another month away from coming back so the pair may need to work out what they need from each other.
Bellamy wasn't too upset by the moment and said the pressure of the game can impact the communication between the spine.
"We can do it at training okay (communicate) but you don't get under the pressure and the fatigue like you do in the game," Bellamy said. "That's where we've got to try and replicate that in the game.
"But Brandon's not used to playing a full half and I just thought probably sometimes he was a bit gassed and he probably didn't get to dummy half a couple of times when we really needed him at dummy half.
"But that's an area where Brandon can improve in but I thought he was outstanding for us tonight. I thought his defence especially in the first half was really good."
The game also had a controversial moment with a debate sparked over whether an ugly tackle deserved a send off or not.
Originally published as 'Absolute gobful': Star turns on teammate