Storm prepare for battle with Broncos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm prepare for battle with Broncos

Melissa Woods 18/07/2011 07:54:22 PM Comments (0)

Coach Craig Bellamy might say otherwise but the Storm are priming themselves for a battle royale with Brisbane in their NRL clash on Friday night in Melbourne.

A former coach at Brisbane under Wayne Bennett for four years before joining Melbourne in 2003, Bellamy outwardly downplays the fixture against his old club.

But Storm skipper Cameron Smith admits there is a special rivalry between the two teams, while the Storm have also had a one-off "battle jersey" made up for the match, featuring a big white 'V' on the front which represents Victoria.

"I think he might be telling a porky," Smith said of his coach's denial of the rivalry.

"We've got a very big rivalry with the Broncos, ever since Craig came down to the Storm, and this one's going to be no different.

"He always liked us to have a win against them."

Smith said 20,000 are expected at AAMI Park for the match, which is set to be Australian skipper Darren Lockyer's last in Melbourne before his retirement at season's end.

While they have a short turnaround after playing on Sunday in Canberra, Smith said his competition-leading team is well prepared for the clash with the Broncos, who are in the top four after beating Gold Coast.

Melbourne crushed the Raiders 26-0, with winger Matt Duffie crossing twice.

That game was the first in almost two months that they had their Origin players fully train and were able to work on their attack.

And Smith said it showed.

"If you look at the tries that we scored, they came off some pretty good structure in attack. We didn't just throw the ball around and then fall over the line," he said.

"Especially Matt Duffie's try, although it involved a lot of individual brilliance it was a well-structured team try and that's what we need leading into finals."

Melbourne have a few injury concerns ahead of the match with Todd Lowrie (calf), Justin O'Neill (back) and Maurice Blair (head cut) to prove their fitness this week.

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