No NRL competition points but the Melbourne Storm will take plenty from their tight loss to the Bulldogs, according to backrower Kevin Proctor.
The Storm lost an arm-wrestle at AAMI Park 6-4, with skipper Cameron Smith missing a penalty from close to the sideline in the final two minutes that would have sent to match into golden point.
Coach Craig Bellamy rated their defensive performance against the joint competition leaders as the best of the season.
He said against most other sides his team probably would have done enough to win.
Proctor scored Melbourne’s only try midway through the first half when he combined with halfback Cooper Cronk.
While the result wasn’t what he was after, the try was a nice touch after his partner Leesa gave birth to their first child, Zara, on Wednesday.
The Kiwi international said the Storm threw everything at the Bulldogs but couldn’t crack their defence a second time.
“I thought we were on top for most of the game but we couldn’t finish off our opportunities and credit to them because they defended really well,” Proctor said.
“We did defend well but it was a pity the scoreboard didn’t reflect how well we played.
“We can take some confidence from that game into next week.”
The Storm’s five-man Origin contingent came through strongly, including Cronk who was playing his first club game since breaking his arm in the opening Origin match.
Melbourne must travel for five of their remaining eight matches, including two five-day turnarounds so banking a home win was important.
However Bellamy said each game was worth the same and they’d win where they had to.
“We just want to get consistency in our performances and in our effort and if we do that we’ll go well,” Bellamy said.
“We played well against the Bulldogs but sometimes when you play well you don’t get the two points.
“It was heartening to see their effort.”