Attention not just on Folau: Bellamy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Attention not just on Folau: Bellamy

By Melissa Woods 17/03/2009 03:34:53 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy says focusing all of his troops on stopping former teammate Israel Folau will be at their own peril, with plenty of other artillery in Brisbane's attack.

The two sides will line up on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium after both escaped with one-point victories in their opening round NRL encounters.

Hulking teenager Folau moved to the Broncos in the off-season after smashing club tryscoring records at Melbourne and gaining Test selection, and has already made an impression, scoring Brisbane's first try against the Cowboys.

Bellamy says it will be a team effort to stop the rampaging centre.

"We know what a wonderful player he is first-hand," he said.

"He'll be spoken about this week and there'll be some things put in place but it will have to be a real team effort out there.

"Because of his size and his strength, he's hard to stop with the ball and everyone knows how good he is under the high ball.

"There'll be a few things we'll need to do really well to try and restrict his strengths but, at the end of the day, it won't be on the one person out there, it'll be on the whole team doing certain things to try to restrict his effectiveness."

Bellamy said the Broncos were full of talent, particularly Test skipper Darren Lockyer.

The five-eighth only played the first half of the Broncos' trial against the Storm last month but was back to his best against North Queensland.

"We won't be focusing just on him (Folau), they've got a few other good players there too," Bellamy said.

"Darren Lockyer goes OK and Karmichael Hunt's a fair player, Peter Wallace played Origin last year."

Melbourne won the trial 20-4, however Bellamy wasn't reading too much into that result.

"Ivan (coach Ivan Henjak) pulled off Peter Wallace and Darren (Lockyer) in the second half so obviously wanted to give them a little bit of match fitness and combination and then get them out of the game," he said.

"They would have missed those players a whole heap in the second half.

"Trials are trials and we're playing for competition points, I'm sure Ivan won't be pulling Peter Wallace and Darren Lockyer off at halftime."

While happy with his side's defence in their win over St George Illawarra, Bellamy was looking for improved attack which he felt would come as his new backline combinations spent more playing time together.

He was delighted with the performance of young centre Willie Isa in his first full NRL match.

"Isa was strong defensively and made some good runs," he said.

"It's not easy for a guy who hasn't played first grade before and coming to a new club as well, he did a tremendous job for us and he'll just get better and better as he gets used to the players around him."

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