Cameron Smith remains confident.
Cameron Smith remains confident.

Smith ready to do it the hard way

THIS is not how Cameron Smith pictured the finals to play out.

The Storm captain, however, remains upbeat the minor premiers can rebound in Saturday night's semi-final against Parramatta Eels at AAMI Park.

"The position we're in now it doesn't mean we can't go past this week and progress further," Smith said.

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"We got a good footy side, we finished minor premiers, I think we all need to take a step back from the disappointment that we felt from the loss against Canberra and remember that.

"It's not the preferred route to the next game we wanted to play but we're now forced to play an elimination final at home a week earlier than what we would have liked, we'll be here ready to go."

Storm named an unchanged 21-man extended squad on Tuesday, following a thorough review of the 12-10 loss to the Raiders.

Smith attributed the defeat to a slow start and failure to execute set plans.

Parramatta are an unwanted headache for Melbourne. Photo: AAP Image/David Crosling
Parramatta are an unwanted headache for Melbourne. Photo: AAP Image/David Crosling

"We got some structures in place that we just didn't execute on the weekend and that's the disappointing thing," Smith said.

"We had a game plan and we practised some things that we didn't implement in the 80 minutes, the vision (review) reaffirmed that for us which is again another disappointing factor for us all.

"You know what went wrong but then when you see it in the review it just confirms it, it's a disappointing feeling, (but) we're up for this challenge."

The Raiders did a good job of keeping Storm off balance, shifting the ball from side-to-side, but the minor premier was its own worst enemy also, committing untimely penalties and errors.

Smith said Storm had to be sharper this week, especially in attack, after leaving "some of the opportunities" on the field last week.

It didn’t go to plan against Canberra. Photo: AAP Image/Michael Dodge
It didn’t go to plan against Canberra. Photo: AAP Image/Michael Dodge

Since 1999 only four teams have turned a week one finals loss into a premiership, including the 2015 North Queensland Cowboys most recently.

Storm reached the decider in 2008 after losing its qualifying final only to then get belted by Manly.

Smith, who missed the 2008 grand final through suspension, said nothing beyond the Eels mattered.

"If we don't play well (this week) then we don't have to worry about the next week."

Smith also echoed the NRL's strong stance against the abuse of referees after alleged threats were made against sideline official Michael Wise.

Wise incorrectly called Suliasi Vunivalu into touch last week, denying Storm of a last gasp chance to win the game.

"It's unfortunate, it was at a crucial part of the game, but at no stage are we blaming him for the result," Smith said.

"I'd like to think that people can leave him alone and not give him any grief about it, it's a mistake and we all move on.

"Our focus has been on how we let ourselves down, if we had put in a better performance we wouldn't have to worry about a call on the touch line."