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Storm's Smith doubtful for Knights in NRL

NZN 1/06/2017 Melissa Woods

Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith is no certainty to front up for the Storm's NRL clash with Newcastle on Friday night after the torrid State of Origin exchange.

Smith, halfback Cooper Cronk and centre Will Chambers arrived back in Melbourne on Thursday after Queensland's crushing opening Origin loss to NSW.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy said Smith had pulled up the worst of the three players and, with a game next Thursday against defending premiers Cronulla, the hooker might be rested for the AAMI Park match against the last-placed Knights.

"We've got another six day turnaround after this so that will come into consideration as well," Bellamy said.

"Most of the say will come down to the players, with Smithy and Cooper (Cronk) and the amount of Origin they've played, they know better than anybody else.

"Cameron's probably pulled up the worst of the three of them to be honest so we'll just see how he feels in the morning but he's feeling tired and he's looking tired."

Bellamy, a former NSW coach, said Wednesday night's Origin opener was the fastest half of league he'd seen while he was blown away by the stunning completion rate from both sides in the first half at Suncorp Stadium.

Melbourne will be boosted by the return of prop Jesse Bromwich, who is back from a two-game ban for his off-field antics after the Anzac Test.

"It's great to have Jesse back," Bellamy said.

"While the guys did a good job filling in for him, we certainly missed him and I'm sure he will be really keen to get back in and get stuck in."

Bellamy said that veteran fullback Billy Slater, who was a surprise omission from the Maroons, was also as "keen as mustard" to prove a point.

Despite their contrasting ladder positions, the Knights have always proved a handful for the Storm, both in Melbourne and in Newcastle.

"They've certainly challenged us on the scoreboard," Bellamy said.

"We were lucky to win both those games last season as they certainly turned up and got stuck into us."

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