Widdop warming to new role at Storm - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Widdop warming to new role at Storm

Melissa Woods 05/04/2011 01:59:55 PM Comments (0)

Telling the likes of Melbourne Storm superstars Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk what to do on the footy field isn't an easy task.

But it's a job the Storm's new five-eighth Gareth Widdop is warming to.

England-born Widdop has improved with each match after filling the vacancy left by veteran Brett Finch's off-season departure to the UK.

So much so that he was one of the Storm's best as they out-played the competition-leading Bulldogs 30-16 at AAMI Park on Monday night, earning praise from Craig Bellamy.

The hard-marking coach said the 22-year-old had understandably lacked confidence to call the shots early in the season.

"Part of that I suppose was a little bit of confidence but part of it was knowing when to poke his nose in and when to keep it out," Bellamy said.

"When you've got Cooper and Billy around there calling a lot of the plays he's treading on eggshells a little bit.

"But he knows his role now and he knows when he wants to get the ball and I think he's even overcalled the other guys a couple of times which is good.

"If he sees something we want him to go with it because he is a very talented ball player."

Skipper Cameron Smith was delighted with his team's performance against the benchmark side, particularly after a poor showing against the Cowboys the previous round.

Melbourne ran in five tries and with a red-hot Slater leading the charge, tore the Bulldogs' usually solid defence to shreds.

Smith said an upside to the team playing for no competition points last season because of salary cap cheating meant they developed confidence to play a more ad-lib style of football.

"A lot of things we trialled last year, a lot came off and some didn't but we've taken it into this year and it's a huge positive.

"We've got a very regimented style of footy but sometimes when we get some opportunities we can throw it in there."

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