Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has fired back at criticism of his NRL team’s playing style, saying it’s because the Storm might have their rivals rattled.
On the back of their shock win over minor premier the Sydney Roosters to go straight through to the preliminary finals, the Storm were stung by attacks on their defence-oriented game plan.
Bellamy said such comments gave him confidence.
“They build confidence in me because they’re probably a little bit concerned if they’re going to play us,” he said.
“I get a bit out of that if they’re watching us and mentioning us because they might think at some stage they’re going to play us.”
Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett has led the chorus about Melbourne’s ‘negative’ tactics, saying the qualifying final between his team and North Queensland was far more entertaining.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson also chimed in about Melbourne’s wrestling at the ruck to slow down the play.
Bellamy was bemused about the timing of the comments, saying Robinson never had a problem with his team’s wrestling when they lost by 22 points to the Roosters in round 12.
“I can guarantee we haven’t changed anything all year with our defensive systems or techniques,” Bellamy said.
“The last six weeks, we’ve had a real emphasis with our contact in tackles and that’s been the turnaround for us.
“Trent’s probably not used to losing so it was probably a shock to him.”
Bellamy also took aim at Bennett, who said the Broncos weren’t into wrestling and wanted to “play football”.
“Wayne made the point about comparing his game to our game and how exciting his game was,” Bellamy said.
“I remember in 2010 St George were criticised a lot for being a boring team and Wayne said he didn’t give a rats.”
Bellamy said the Storm needed to play to their strengths, just as the Broncos were doing with their star halves Anthony Milford and Ben Hunt.
“Now he wants everyone to play his footy. Well, not everyone’s got players like those halves so we’ve got to make do.
“It’s a bit hot coming out and saying we should be playing like them.”