We can still improve, Storm coach warns - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We can still improve, Storm coach warns

By Philip Henderson 09/08/2008 12:22:23 PM Comments (0)

It was an ominous warning from the coach of a side which had just beaten the competition frontrunners.

Craig Bellamy claimed his Melbourne Storm still had plenty of improvement left in the lead up to next month's NRL finals after the reigning premiers dispatched leaders Manly 16-10 at Brookvale Oval on Friday night.

"I just know we can improve in a couple of areas in our game," Bellamy said.

"This was our first week of full training we've had for all our players since Origin ... I was hoping they wouldn't be leg weary after all the work they did early in the week, but as we saw at the end when we defended four or five sets on our line, their legs were okay.

"So we're in pretty good shape physically, we just have to get our execution ... a little bit better perhaps.

"I wasn't overly impressed with the way we played to be quite honest, but it just goes to show this side's a pretty gutsy side, this side seems to be able to do what they have to do to win a game.

"And it wasn't like we were playing a B-grade side either. We were playing a team that has led the competition for most of the year and they're a good footy team ... so it was a gutsy win."

Manly coach Des Hasler, similarly, thought his side would learn from a game played with real finals intensity which more than lived up to its billing as the biggest match of the regular season.

"We certainly learned a lot. I know we can do a better job and there are things we can work on," Hasler said.

"I would have liked a bit more of the rub of the green, but you've got to cop those decisions.

"Melbourne are a very good side, once they get in front it's hard to play catch up against them, but we certainly pushed them all the way.

"It was a good game to watch probably."

It was the Storm's first win at Brookvale since 1999 and third in a row against the side they beat in last year's grand final.

Placed one and two on the ladder, Friday's clash was seen by many as a grand final preview.

Bellamy, though, denied his side's win would have any carry over value should the two teams meet again in the finals.

"This is just another game, it had nothing to do with the grand final, it had nothing to do with the first time we played them this season," Bellamy said.

"If we play them again this year, this game will have no consequence on that either.

"Every game is an individual game, every game is different. And that's what it will be next time as well."

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