Scheduling 'could Storm premiership' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Scheduling 'could Storm premiership'

By Melissa Woods 05/07/2008 03:53:31 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy says the NRL draw could cost his side its third straight minor premiership rather than his NSW Origin coaching duties.

Bellamy's Storm side lost all of three matches during his Blues commitments, leaving it two points behind the three competition frontrunners, Manly, the Roosters and the Sharks.

Bellamy said that rather than his own absence it was the absence of Melbourne's nine Origin representatives from those games that cost them six premiership points which could see them miss a third successive minor premiership or an important top two finish.

He blamed the NRL draw, which gave Melbourne a bye in round 14, the weekend after Origin II rather than the weekend before, when representative players are unavailable for club duties.

Their other bye also came in round eight rather than late in the season when players were fatigued from the heavy workload.

Next year the draw has been done to be more considerate of the Storm's Origin contingent, but that's too late for Bellamy.

"Next year ain't going to help us this year," he said.

"It might cost us the minor premiership, it might cost us a lot of things.

"That was out of our control, it was the scheduling which was unbelievable, how we could have those byes before Origin and not after Origin."

Bellamy plans to leave a decision on his Origin coaching future until season's end but felt his absence didn't heavily impact the Storm's fortunes.

"I don't think those losses had too much to do with me being away, it was more about how many players we had out," he said.

"The young guys improved each outing but it's hard when you've got three of those games without nine players and for the second one we had 10."

Melbourne's Origin contingent had their first hit-out on Saturday following Wednesday's decider, when Queensland were triumphant.

While a few players complained of soreness, they will all be available to take on Canberra at Olympic Park on Sunday.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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