Storm not raging just yet: Bellamy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm not raging just yet: Bellamy

By Steve Jancetic and Robert Grant 11/08/2008 07:12:54 PM Comments (0)

Here's a scary thought for the other 12 sides still in contention for the NRL premiership - Melbourne are only just warming up.

That's the opinion of none other than coach Craig Bellamy, who admitted his troops were still struggling after State of Origin.

Still, the Storm have managed five wins from six matches since the completion of the Origin series, including a 16-10 win over Manly on Friday night which lifted Melbourne into a three-way share of the competition lead.

"All wins are important but I suppose since the Origin series we've been labouring a little bit at some stages in some games," Bellamy said.

"We think there's some areas of our game we can improve and we'll have to improve, but there were some good signs to be able to play 80 minutes at that intensity (against Manly) even though we probably didn't execute it as well as we'd like.

"Just from that game the other night I think we can improve with our attack.

"The week before our attack was really good.

"The Origin series takes a lot out of some guys physically and takes a lot out of some guys mentally so even during and after the Origin series there's usually some signs there, that we've had nine or 10 players who haven't been at their best.

"We haven't been at our best but they've still found a way to win most of those games."

With just four regular season games remaining, Bellamy said he would look to get the side back into a more familiar routine as he signalled an end to the rotation policy he had adopted over the last month.

As well as breaks during the week, Queensland Origin forwards Dallas Johnson and Michael Crocker have both been given games off in recent weeks.

But with one eye on the minor premiership and another on the finals series, it's all hands on deck from here on in.

"A lot of it's mental, especially this time of the year, but we're sort of concentrating a little bit more on our physical stuff at the moment because we gave the Origin players a whole heap of rest," Bellamy said.

"We're probably trying to build that up a little bit at the moment so that's one of our focuses.

"We think they're fresh enough now for us to lift their training load and hopefully that will help us as well."

Injuries amongst his outside backs are hampering Bellamy's ability to ramp up the physical work with star five-eighth Greg Inglis and wingers Steve Turner and Anthony Quinn all sitting out Monday's training session.

Bellamy declined to specify the nature of Turner's injury while Inglis and Quinn are both battling long-term ankle concerns.

"This time of the year everyone's got something," Bellamy said.

"There's probably a couple there that might be a little bit of a concern for this week, they didn't train today.

"I don't think it's going to stop them playing but at the end of the day it restricts their preparation."

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