Smith calls on Storm defence to lift

Melbourne Storm captain Cam Smith has called on his side to change the direction of its season in its Anzac Day clash against New Zealand Warriors on Friday night.

The Storm approaches its annual clash with the Warriors at AAMI Park with a questionmark over its defence and Smith led calls for his teammates to stop the procession of tries and regain their reputation as a defensive-minded side.

Smith said with more than 23,500 tickets sold for the game, his younger teammates had to lift for the occasion.

''It's a great tester for us,'' he said. ''The Warriors are a bit low at the moment but they always prepare well for this match and play well against us.

''For our young guys who haven't played in front of a big crowd like this before, it will be a huge test but we need it.

''We definitely need it at the moment because we are letting ourselves down with the way we are playing.

''Hopefully this kicks us off a bit.''

Smith said the side was embarrassed by its early season defence but he did see improvement in their knowledge of the team's defensive game plan.

Storm still falls well behind other clubs in points against this season, with only their glittering attack allowing them to maintain a 4-3 record, while the Warriors are second last with a 2-5 record.

Storm five-eighth Ben Roberts will miss the match with a minor knee injury.

This story Smith calls on Storm defence to lift first appeared on WA Today.