Jacks a chance to secure Storm place
Ryley Jacks will get his chance in the Storm's revolving halfback chair starting Friday night against the Knights, and coach Craig Bellamy wants to see the 25-year-old stamp his authority on the team.
Jacks has been biding his time in the Intrust Super Cup and after a few mixed performances by Brodie Croft finds himself back in the starting side this week.
In his 12 NRL games last year, Jacks impressed with his steady skills and workmanlike performances which will come in handy as the Storm look to rebound after a disappointing 2-3 start to the season.
"Last year he only played 12 games and did a 'blue-collar' job for us," Bellamy said.
"I think out of those 12 games, I think he won 10 or 11 games as well. He obviously played his part without a doubt. Probably last year, there was always someone coming back from rep footy or someone coming back from injury.
"With all due respect, this will be chance for him to grab something more permanent. Having said that, we've got a lot of belief in Brodie as well."
Dropping Croft was done for the good of the team and the young halfback himself, according to the coach.
"At the end of the day, it didn't give me any joy to leave him out, but I think it was the best for the team and perhaps the best thing for Brodie at this stage," he said.
"As I said at the start of the season, we never really expected him to play the whole season, but after the last couple of weeks, we thought it was the right thing to do for the team."
Bellamy didn't want to share what specifically he wants Croft to work on, but is backing the young playmaker's work ethic and confidence to help him learn from it.
"There's a couple of things he needs to work hard on in the Queensland Cup. He worked hard in the pre-season and has to make sure he keeps working hard.
"[Being dropped] isn't something he wanted to happen, and at this stage of the year what we wanted to happen as well."
The Storm mentor cast a frustrated figure in the coach's box over the last few weeks, with close losses against the Tigers and the Sharks, errors and a lack of attacking cohesion the keys.
"We're not that far away. We've lost three games which hasn't happened for a fair while. We lost by two, by one and 10 (points). Our defence has been doing a really good job. There's just a couple of adjustments we need to make in our attack, and a couple of minor adjustments with attitudes.
"There's a couple of guys put on notice – I don't know whether you call them senior, mid-tier or lower-tier."