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AN OUTBREAK of boils has delayed premiership winning winger Sisa Waqa’s bold NRL comeback bid at Melbourne.
But a last round boilover has ensured coach Craig Bellamy will still make team changes for Sunday’s NRL clash with South Sydney in Perth.
And Kiwi youngster Brandon Smith may be the big winner.
Fijian international Waqa was set to be blooded in the Queensland Cup this weekend, his first step toward earning a Storm contract by the June 30 deadline. He lobbed at Melbourne three weeks ago after a French rugby stint. However, Waqa has found himself quarantined after suffering the skin infection setback.
“He was going well the first couple of weeks but we haven’t seen too much of him this week,” Bellamy said of Waqa, who played 67 games for Melbourne from 2011-14.
“No one is getting too close to him at the moment.
“We were hoping he would play for us this week in the Queensland Cup but the boils have put him back, we will just have to wait.”
Bellamy warned personnel changes would be made against the Rabbitohs in the wake of their 38-36 shock last round loss to Gold Coast Titans.
The former NSW coach described his side’s defensive display against the Titans as the worst in his 15 season stint at the Storm following their second defeat of the season.
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“There will be a couple (of changes),” Bellamy said.
“It was not just the result (last round) but the way we went about things. “We need to be a lot better.
“We don’t want to leave it for too many weeks then we get into bad habits. “Our attack did a great job to score 36 points with the amount of ball we had but when you don’t control the ball you need to defend and we didn’t do that.” Smith, 20, is in line for an NRL debut after impressing in the Queensland Cup and earning a nod in New Zealand’s extended squad for the trans-Tasman Test. Bellamy was clearly impressed by Smith who may be used as a bench utility against the Rabbitohs.
“He’s not a big kid but he’s tough. They are the type of kids we like,” he said.
“He’s a big chance of going over there with us.
“He’s been knocking on the door for a couple of weeks, soon that door will open.”
Smith has been named on Storm’s extended bench along with forward Nelson Asofa- Solomona (broken hand) who is also a chance to run out against South Sydney.
Originally published as Storm quarantine Fiji star