Wednesday, 8 August 2012
While Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy tossed and turned over how to stop his NRL team's recent losing streak, veteran prop Jason Ryles could sleep soundly.
After all, he'd already experienced it before in his career and seen his side come good.
With 242 games under his belt playing with St George Illawarra and the Sydney Roosters before joining the Storm for 2012, Ryles said he wasn't panicked by Melbourne's uncharacteristic run of losses.
At the Dragons in 2005 they started the season with four successive losses but came back to finish only behind minor premiers Parramatta on points differential.
In 2011 his Roosters had five early season losses in succession.
"I knew we would be fine," said Ryles.
"It sounds cliched but we just had to get back to playing basics and playing to our strengths rather than playing too pretty.
"You can't be up all season as much as you want to be."
The 33-year-old, who recently re-signed for another season with Melbourne, said he was more shocked by the Storm's nine-match winning streak to start the season.
"After four or five I was saying `How good's this', but everyone's like, `This is normal'.
"It's not normal, it's unreal."
Ryles impressed last round as the Storm snapped their losing streak with a 46-6 shellacking of Penrith but admitted he copped a few "sprays" from coach Craig Bellamy for his recent form.
He said the entire team changed its mindset to go forward rather than taking the easy option to try to go around the opposition.
Ahead of their clash with ninth-placed Gold Coast at AAMI Park on Friday night he hoped his side, sitting third, could continue to build into the looming NRL finals.
"Their (Melbourne's) form slump came in round 24 last year so it's probably better coming mid-season so we can iron out whatever's not working and hopefully build a bit of momentum heading into finals.
"But it doesn't matter where the Titans are on the ladder, if we don't play well they'll beat us."
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