Bellamy to take time over Blues futures - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bellamy to take time over Blues futures

By Steve Jancetic and Todd Balym 03/07/2008 07:25:26 PM Comments (0)

NSW coach Craig Bellamy will wait until after the NRL season to make a decision on whether he'll take on the unenviable task of bringing down the Queensland dynasty.

Bellamy refused to discuss plans for his future as the enormity of Wednesday night's six-point loss continued to sink in on Thursday, the Blues coming within one Johnathan Thurston `show and go' of stealing a thrilling decider.

Instead, Bellamy returned to Melbourne, where he will turn his attention to guiding the Storm to back-to-back NRL premierships.

Melbourne struggled for success through the Origin period while Bellamy was away with the Blues, denting their chances of a top two finish and a second chance in the finals series.

It is believed a finals fade-out could lead to Bellamy walking away from the NSW gig, given next year's series will require another commitment of time and energy as the Blues look to avoid an unprecedented fourth straight series loss.

While many of Queensland's heroes will play a large part in the Storm's premiership push, Bellamy denied reports that coaching against them in the Origin arena would impact his own representative future.

"It's not ideal but at the end of the day it's happened before with other coaches," Bellamy said of the coaching situation.

"When I'm with Melbourne I'm coaching those guys and when I come into Origin camp they're the enemy and you treat them like that."

The NSW Rugby League confirmed no meaningful discussions about next year's Origin coach would begin until after the NRL season, by which time the emotion of this year's campaign will have well and truly settled.

While former Blues legends Brad Fittler and Laurie Daley have been tossed up as potential replacements, the job will be Bellamy's should he want it, despite his own uncertainties.

"At the end of the day we've just lost a series so I've got to come under scrutiny as well," he told reporters as he left the team hotel.

Bellamy certainly has the support of the players, with Storm backrower Ryan Hoffman believing the pain of defeat would fuel his coach's hunger for another crack.

"I know what a competitive guy Craig is and to come that close to winning a series I'd be very surprised if he didn't coach NSW again," Hoffman said.

"He's a terrific coach and all the guys got a lot out of him during the series."

They were thoughts echoed by Willie Mason, who went some way towards answering his critics with a busy performance in Origin III.

"I don't think (Bellamy's) going to try one series and just bow out," he told reporters.

"I don't think that's the case. I think he'll stick here, he'll stick solid with the team."

With skipper Danny Buderus bowing out of Origin, Mason is one of several contenders to lead the Blues into next year's series, along with the likes of Mark Gasnier and Paul Gallen.

Mason said he saw similarities with NSW's predicament going into next year's series with that of the Maroons just before they began their glory run with a win in the 2006 decider.

"We're there now," Mason said.

"It's not embarrassing but it's just hard to cop when next year we're on the end of four and nobody has won four.

"They were in the same position in 2006 and they beat us down in Melbourne.

"When I came into Origin we won 03, 04, 05 and it was easy.

"Now it's been taken away it means that much more to most of the players ... there could be 20 million words you could put to it but I don't know what to say."

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