Leeds coach wary of Melbourne wrestling - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Leeds coach wary of Melbourne wrestling

By John Marsh 25/02/2010 03:09:34 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne have alarmed Leeds' coach Brian McClennan by hinting they expect their wrestling tactics of several years ago to be back in vogue for Sunday's rugby league World Club Challenge.

Storm boss Craig Bellamy claimed after last Sunday's win over Harlequins that English interpretations gave sides more reward for certain defensive actions and it was a view backed up by forward Adam Blair.

"It's going to be a big change for us. It's slow over here," the New Zealand vice-captain told AAP.

"We're going to try and adapt to the conditions and adapt to the reffing that they do over here. Back what we were doing a couple of years ago, they are still doing here."

Melbourne's defensive manoeuvres were a major controversy in the NRL until two seasons back, when refereeing interpretations changed and tackles such as the chicken wing, the ripper and the prowler were outlawed.

While Bellamy and Blair did not suggest they were planning anything illegal, McClennan said he was surprised by the comments.

"That was interesting ... we reviewed the Harlequins game and it was a very, very slow game," McClennan said.

"That's not where we really want rugby league heading. I don't think that really reflects the game that well."

But while the Storm coaching staff will meet with whistler Richard Silverwood or RFL refereeing officials before the match, McClennan has called such summits a waste of time.

"Craig talked to them two years ago and I went along," he said.

"I couldn't see the point. It was mind games that went nowhere. So I'm not interested in it.

"Obviously I'll get a report back on what was asked and said.

"They've chosen Richard Silverwood. He'll do a good job.

"If they're getting a slow ruck, we'll get a slow ruck too.

"That's all I'm saying. If that's the case, we'll do whatever it takes.

"If Melbourne are getting numbers in and getting some time on the ground, we'll be doing the same.

"That will make it a real physical contest and maybe not so entertaining.

"I don't like the idea that it should be focused on the referee and that's why I'm wary of where this is leading into. Let the ref do his job."

In team news, McClennan said he expected centre Brett Delaney back from a hamstring injury on Sunday but winger Scott Donald (shoulder) is tipped to miss three months.

Youngster Luke Kelly is one of three Melbourne players to have returned home, narrowing the list of candidates for the injured Cooper Cronk's vacant halves spot.

Cameron Smith remains favourite to partner Brett Finch. Teams will be named on Friday.

Leeds' fourth appearance in the WCC decider equals the record for the competition.

A win would also put them on par with the three titles each won by Wigan and Bradford.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news