“It’s a pretty good position seen as we are a quarter of the way into the season but if we’re honest with ourselves the last six weeks, we haven’t been at our best, that’s for sure,” Smith said.
“We’ve been working hard and talking about the way to get our performances in the right direction, we have some younger guys in our squad still trying to deal with the grind of being up every day and get their performances consistent.
“For the coaches and some of senior players last week’s performance was almost a final straw for us.
“Things need to start improving, because we’re coming into a pretty important part of the season when Origin starts as we’re going to lose a few guys to that and we need to start banking some wins over the next month to ensure that come the end of the year we will be fighting for a finals spot.”
Smith spoke on Wednesday while wearing teal undies as a promotion for World Ovarian Cancer Day which aims to raise awareness and research funding.
The Storm have some promising talents coming through the Queensland Cup grades and many who support the club are keen to see the likes of Billy Walters, Tino Faasuamaleaui and Ryan Papenhuyzen potentially take on bigger roles during Origin, Smith knows wins are essential now just in case the team takes some losses.
Smith reiterated he wasn’t available for Queensland selection despite the Maroons losing another hooker as Broncos star Andrew McCullough went down with a knee injury at training this week.
“They have been talking about Ben Hunt playing there and I’ve seen him play that role before and he does a real good job there even thought he doesn’t play that position for his club,” Smith said.
“But then how is Daly Cherry-Evans and his ankle injury going? Will he be available for game one? It’s not an ideal situation for Queensland at the moment but they will find someone.
“There was a time when I first started out in Origin that there was an influx of young players and results weren’t great for Queensland at the time, but we turned things around and ended up winning eight series in a row but it took a couple of years of heartache to turn that around.”
The Storm also confirmed on Wednesday they will look for a new jersey sponsor for next season after online real estate company Purplebricks announced they would close their Australian business.
The current deal with the Storm was only for 2019 and the club says the existing financial commitment won’t change.
The Storm face Parramatta Eels at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday at 7.35pm as part of the NRL’s Magic Round where all 16 teams play in Brisbane.
Roy Ward is a Sports writer for The Age.