26 Sep 2008

Kicking woes set to haunt Storm

5:43 pm on 26 September 2008

The NRL premiers Melbourne are continuing to count the cost of skipper Cameron Smith's season-ending suspension.

With the hole at dummy-half coach Craig Bellamy's most immediate headache, a new problem has also emerged - goalkicking.

Smith has been the Storm's premier goalkicker since 2006, his dominance over the role meaning few others have been exposed to the pressure.

Since taking over as the club's first option, Smith has kicked 244 goals, while eight other players given a crack have landed just 31.

Winger Steve Turner, with four successful conversions this year and five last year, has been given the job.

Its importance is illustrated by the fact that the last two clashes between the Storm and Cronulla have each been decided by just a single point and the Sharks have sharpshooter and the NRL's leading pointscorer Luke Covell.