Bellamy mocks dirtiest NRL team label - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bellamy mocks dirtiest NRL team label

Steve Jancetic and Melissa Woods 29/07/2011 05:03:36 PM Comments (0)

They're the best in the business when it comes to the wrestle but Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy claims recent scrutiny over his side's play has more to do with ladder position than tactics.

Labelled the dirtiest team in the competition in a poll of NRL players this week, Bellamy insinuated there was more than a hint of envy in the result.

The Storm are riding high on top of the ladder six games out from the finals, a remarkable resurrection following the disaster that was their 2010 campaign.

While some names may have changed, Bellamy said there was little difference in his side's style of play compared to last year, when there was no mention of their grappling tactics.

"I don't think we were hearing it last year, we were winning some games last year as well but we weren't a threat," Bellamy said.

"Perhaps that (being on top of the ladder) has got something to do with it."

The Storm have become notorious for their ability to slow down the opposition with an array of holds in tackles in recent years, their use of wrestling coaches now common throughout the competition.

Few have a greater insight into their tactics than Parramatta coach Stephen Kearney, whose Eels take on the Storm on Monday night.

Kearney's five years under Bellamy coincided with the introduction of wrestling tactics to the NRL.

The New Zealand boss has made the wrestle a focus since his switch to the Eels, but admits no-one does it better than the Storm.

"They'd (Parramatta) done a fair bit of work on that already but when you're using Melbourne as the barometer there's a fair few teams behind Melbourne in that area of the game," Kearney said.

"Having been part of Melbourne for some time I know they work really, really hard in that area and that's a big part of their game, so in terms of combating it we've just got to make sure that we stick to what we think's going to work for us."

While admitting the Storm were a tough unit to crack, Eels skipper Nathan Hindmarsh brushed aside the `dirty' tag.

"I think their wrestle's alright, I've got no problem with the way they play rugby league," Hindmarsh said.

"They've been the benchmark for that (the wrestle), they've got some good techniques, but it comes down to having a lot of `three men in a tackle' which they do well."

Bellamy said the poll result, in which the Storm claimed 49 per cent of the vote to be well ahead of Manly at 16 per cent, carried little weight. He even went as far as to mock the survey.

"I'm not quite sure whether some of the laundry people had any say in that, I'm not sure whether we've got dirtier jumpers than anybody else," Bellamy said.

"To me it's a pretty irrelevant poll, it's fairytale really.

"If you want to look at some facts, go and have a look at how many players from each team have been charged this year, I think we're at the bottom of the list.

"It depends how you justify dirty, if they're talking about physical things in tackles, as I said we're at the bottom of the list as far as people being charged.

"It might be what colour the jumpers are when you come off the field."

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