Bellamy warns Storm of Origin hang-over - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bellamy warns Storm of Origin hang-over

By Melissa Woods 05/07/2008 04:59:59 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne can't afford any State of Origin hang-overs if they are to get their NRL title defence back on track with a win over Canberra on Sunday, coach Craig Bellamy says.

The Storm needed a halftime blast from Bellamy before they hit the front in their round six clash with the Raiders in Canberra, eventually winning 23-16.

Melbourne have nine players backing up from Wednesday's third Origin clash but Bellamy said they needed to match Canberra's enthusiasm if they were to again finish on top.

"I've only given them a couple of revs this year and that was one of them," Bellamy said.

"We got off to a slow start and it was a little bit of an attitude problem, they were a lot more enthusiastic than us."

He said his players may have slipped into their "comfort zone" when they heard before the game that the Raiders would be missing skipper Alan Tongue and hooker Lincoln Withers.

Tongue will again be absent at Olympic Park after suffering rib cartilage damage but the Storm are determined they won't make the same mistake.

"Alan's a big loss for them with his work-rate and enthusiasm but they've got a lot of other good players in the team so we know what to expect tomorrow," Bellamy said.

"People always think of Canberra as a young side and I don't think that's the case, they're an experienced side and a good side.

"There's a lot of big bodies in their team so they're always really good contests when they play us."

Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk will play his 100th NRL game while Bellamy can chalk up his 100th NRL win.

The Storm suffered three Origin period losses and Cronk said his team needed to find some winning momentum as the finals approached, and to catch the three teams - Manly, the Sydney Roosters and Cronulla - who are now above them on the NRL ladder.

"You just can't turn up to the business end of the season and expect to start playing good footy, you need to build momentum," Cronk said.

"We play three of those teams in the next little bit so we need to keep building.

"The only games we've lost since round three have been the three Origin ones so we've been travelling along all right.

"We've got to keep building momentum. there's definitely a focus on this next little period."

In Canberra team changes, Tongue has been replaced at lock by Joe Picker, while Scott Logan has come on to the bench with Josh Miller now in the back-row.

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