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Munster says Storm effort the worst he can remember

Star five-eighth Cameron Munster says his side’s lack of consistent effort this year is the worst he’s seen since arriving at the club a decade ago.

The 28-year-old told media this week that the current group are at times guilty of neglecting the on-field values the club has built its multi-decade success on, while putting responsibility for fixing it back on himself and the other senior leaders.

It follows Craig Bellamy’s men suffering a 26-18 defeat to Newcastle in Round 21, in which they gave up an early 12-0 lead and leaked three tries in the last 10 minutes of the first half.

“I have been at the club a long time and I can’t remember the last time we’ve been beaten in effort areas so many times [as we have this year],” Munster said.

“The things that we lacked on the weekend weren’t skill based.

They were pretty much attitude driven – making your tackles and wanting to compete for everything – and they just competed harder than us on Saturday, which was pretty disappointing.

“We can cop a loss if they are better on the day, but when teams are beating you in effort areas… that’s where he [Bellamy] can’t cop it, and rightly so.

“We are just falling away at parts. Ten minutes before half-time, letting three or four tries in, that’s not our mindset or us as a club, so we need to make sure we get it right.

“That’s why this club has been so successful, they do those little things well and work hard for each other.”

While they have been leapfrogged by the Warriors into third spot on the Telstra Premiership ladder, the Storm remain in the top four and are two wins clear of the ninth-placed Rabbitohs ahead of Round 22.

But their run home is tough, with four of their remaining six fixtures being against current top eight sides, including road trips to face ladder-leading Penrith and the second-ranked Broncos.

Munster fears that unless the side can improve quickly, they are destined for a repeat of 2022 which saw them crash out of the finals in week one after dropping their two final regular season games.

On Friday night they host the Eels at Marvel Stadium, with Parramatta desperate to pick up a win as they teeter on the edge of the top eight.

“I know we are still in the top four, but we have got a hard run home and we need to make sure we find some consistency, otherwise it could be a similar year to last year,” Munster said.

“I’m not going to sugar coat it, we need to play our best footy in the next 6-7 weeks to stay in the top four, we have got to do everything we can to improve and try and find what’s the missing piece.

“We are showing good patches in the first 15-20 minutes and then kind of fading away.

I don’t think it’s fitness levels, I think it’s just a mindset and mental strength at the moment.”