Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy says he’s happy to see the back of State of Origin as his team looks to resurrect their NRL season with a win over the Warriors.
The Storm face the Warriors at Mount Smart Stadium on Sunday afternoon, desperate to avoid their first run of four losses since 2012.
They have their Queensland Origin contingent of Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Will Chambers intact, although are missing Billy Slater, whose season ended after shoulder surgery.
While proud to have his players represent, Bellamy said it took a lot out of the club.
“I’m always glad when Origin’s over, to be honest,” Bellamy said.
“It takes a lot out of the clubs who have players there and it’s not just a three-week thing; for six or eight weeks it takes a bit out of you so most people in club land would be glad it’s over.”
The Storm mentor said last round’s bye came at the perfect time, with his young players needing some relief after a torrid start to the season with a series of close matches.
“We’ve had a little bit of a break now and have freshened up a bit because I think a few of our younger players we a little bit tired,” he said.
“They weren’t used to playing as much NRL as they had been playing.
“We gave them four days off, so hopefully that helps freshen them up not only in the body, but in the mind as well. Hopefully we can go over there and put in a good performance.”
The Warriors, however, probably could have done without the bye after successive big wins.
They may also be without former Melbourne star Ryan Hoffman, who injured his calf during his NSW side’s heavy loss.
Bellamy said it wouldn’t make his team’s task much easier.
“They’ve been in great form and they’ve been winning in style,” he said of the Warriors.