Craig Bellamy credits mental toughness for Melbourne’s position atop of the NRL ladder.
The Storm’s mental fortitude has wavered over recent seasons but Bellamy said it was an area where they’ve improved in 2016.
“The thing I like about our start to the season is that we have been that (mentally tough),” Bellamy said ahead of Monday night’s clash against Cronulla at Shark Park.
“We haven’t been playing as well as we’d like in some areas but we’ve been playing real tough in tough periods of games so that’s been really good for us.
“Hopefully we will be more consistent at that this year, as we weren’t last year.”
Bellamy pointed to last round’s 21-14 win over the Warriors as a game where they showed their grit.
His team trailed midway through the second half but managed to claw their way to a win.
“Halfway through that second half we looked like we were out on our feet…but somehow we found something extra to get back into the game.”
Kiwi international backrower Tohu Harris will play in the centres against the Sharks, a position where fellow forward Kenny Bromwich was named to start last week.
Bellamy said his team were down on backs following injury to Billy Slater as well as Cheyse Blair and Jeremy Hawkins; plus the extra size would help stop the formidable Sharks outfit.
“”We’d like a centre playing in the centres but we’re probably a bit stronger with our forward depth than with our backs at the moment,” Bellamy said.
“We’ll just have to adjust to the situation and what’s best for that week.”
The Storm added to their outside backs depth this week by signing former Hawthorn international rookie Shem Tatupu.
The 20-year-old is the son of New Zealand Warriors foundation player Tony Tatupu and played rugby league for part of his teenage years.
He’s spent the past two years with the Hawks and played 22 VFL games.
“We’d like him to play as soon as possible but we’re not going to rush him,” Bellamy said.
“We know he will have some good habits from training with Hawthorn but we’ll just see how he goes with positional play and how he handles the contact.”