After a gutsy golden point victory on the opening night of the season, few could have predicted the Storm would stumble against the Bulldogs and Titans, conceding 64 points across the two games and lacking the defensive steel that has been their trademark.
The absence of superstar five-eighth Cameron Munster with a finger injury has clearly been a factor but coach Craig Bellamy has built his phenomenal success around a 'next man up' culture and won't be using the absence of the mercurial No.6 as an excuse.
The Tigers, meanwhile, entered the 2023 season full of hope after an impressive recruitment drive but losses to the Titans, Knights and Bulldogs have seen that optimism evaporate ahead of a tough fortnight against the Storm and Broncos.
There were some encouraging signs in the Belmore Sports Ground furnace on Sunday as three long-range tries in the space of four minutes gave them a chance to run down the Bulldogs but in the end they came up short, leaving them 0-3 after three rounds just as they were in 2022.
Storm: Halfback Jahrome Hughes has been rubbed out for two matches after he was unsuccessful in having a Dangerous Contact charge downgraded at the NRL Judiciary on Tuesday night. In his place Jonah Pezet comes into the halves alongside Cameron Munster, who returns after missing two games with a finger injury in a huge boost for the Storm. There were no other changes in the 24-hour update.
Wests Tigers: Daine Laurie is set to return from injury via the bench with Adam Doueihi named at fullback and Brandon Wakeham in the halves. Doueihi remained in the squad at the 24-hour update despite working through a toe injury. Alex Seyfarth re-joins the bench in place of Joe Ofahengaue, while John Bateman and Isaiah Papali'i will start in the back row for the first time together.
Story first published by: NRL.com