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Bellamy happy with Storm's top position

By Melissa Woods 25/06/2007 02:30:39 PM Comments (0)

After securing the outright lead in the NRL, Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy agrees his side is the best in the competition.

But he only has to look back to last season's heart-wrenching grand final loss to Brisbane to be reminded that being the best after round 15 counts for little.

With Manly suffering a surprise loss on the weekend, Melbourne took the table lead with a 28-6 drubbing of struggling St George Illawarra at Olympic Park.

After round 15 last season the Storm had 24 points from 14 games and in 2007 they have 26 points from 15 matches.

Following the game Dragons coach Nathan Brown stated emphatically that Melbourne were "clearly the best side" in the competition.

Bellamy said it was difficult to argue with.

"I suppose since we're on top of the table, you could probably say we've been the best team up until this point, but at the end of the day, there's a long way to go," Bellamy said.

"We're not going to be carried away. It's an old cliche but we're going to be taking it week by week."

After pipping premiership-winning Chris Anderson as coach of Melbourne's "Team of the Decade", which was announced during the club's 10th birthday celebrations on the weekend, Bellamy said the two seasons were comparable.

"It is. We didn't make too many mistakes last year either, just at the end we faltered.

"You can compare the two but it's a whole new season for us.

"It's nice to be at the top, we're happy with where we're at but we're not going to sit back and start gloating.

"We want to keep improving, there's certain areas that we can improve in and that's what we're working hard to do."

Bellamy said he had only made minor changes to the team's approach to this season.

"We often change things each year, just little things that we concentrate on and gives the players different mind-sets to different parts of the season," he said.

"We've changed a couple of things, but again, everything was going OK last year until probably the final day."

The Storm easily overcame the Dragons despite losing tackling machine, lock Dallas Johnson, and flying winger Israel Folau early in the first half.

They went into the match without a number of first choice players including halfback Cooper Cronk (ankle) and fullback Billy Slater (cheekbone), while representative forwards Michael Crocker (shoulder) and Antonio Kaufusi (knee) have long-term injuries.

After using all of their artillery to secure recent wins without their Origin stars, as well as the injury absences, veteran Matt Geyer said this weekend's bye was timely.

They will train on Tuesday and then are free until next Monday.

"We've got a week off and we're really looking forward to the break, it's come at a pretty good time," Geyer said.

"We've had some good wins and we've had some tight wins so we'll look forward to having a weekend off and then attacking the second half of the season."

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