Bennett's magic no shock to Storm coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bennett's magic no shock to Storm coach

By Ed Jackson 28/07/2009 04:45:12 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy says St George Illawarra's transformation under Wayne Bennett is no surprise.

In Bennett's first season at the Dragons, they've gone from the NRL's great underachievers to competition frontrunners - a position Bellamy's Storm has been more accustomed to holding in recent years.

But after the Dragons' 29-4 win over the Warriors in Auckland on Sunday lifted them four points clear on the ladder with just six rounds remaining it seems they will be the club to end Melbourne's run of three straight minor premierships.

Bellamy says St George's improved consistency has a lot to do with Bennett, who joined the Dragons after two decades and six premierships at the Brisbane.

"It doesn't matter what situation they get in during games these days, they tough it out," Bellamy said ahead of Friday's big match against the Dragons at WIN Jubilee Oval.

"Certainly he's (Bennett) had a huge influence there and I didn't expect anything different. That's been a huge credit to him."

Bellamy said not much appeared to have changed with the Dragons although they'd improved since the Storm beat them narrowly in round one this year.

The Storm coach, who worked under Bennett as an assistant at the Broncos before joining Melbourne, said the improvement had more to do with the Dragons adapting to a new game plan.

"When we played them in the first round, they were really sticking to the basics well and defending well," Bellamy said.

"I don't think that's changed a whole heap, it's just that they're doing everything better at the moment.

"They're basics that Wayne had with the Broncos as well. I just think that they've got better with the style of play they want to play throughout the year.

"Where they stand on the competition ladder just shows how effective they are."

The Storm, far from the dominant team of the past three seasons, have still managed to work their way to fourth on the ladder.

But despite having only lost three matches since round seven, Bellamy says his team will have to find "another level" if they are to overcome the Dragons on Friday night.

"This week is basically about us going up to another level to be quite honest," he said.

"If we don't go up to another level on Friday night there's really no use going there."

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