Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has slammed the NRL scheduling that sees the Storm tackle successive five-day turnarounds heading into the finals as a “joke”.
The Storm played Newcastle at AAMI Park on Monday night, and then had to back up with a Saturday night clash with North Queensland, splitting the results with a 14-6 win over the Cowboys.
The schedule then has them flying to Brisbane to play their last-round clash against the second-placed Broncos on Thursday night.
Bellamy said it was grossly unfair.
“Of course it’s unfair, it’s a joke,” the coach said.
“We keep going on about player welfare and we get two five-day turnarounds to finish the season off – where’s the player welfare there?”
Bellamy said the recovery of his players suffered, particularly with half a day taken up with travel.
“You’re going to lose periods where you can prepare well for the next game because something’s got to give.
“To make this guys back up, back up, back up isn’t fair and it makes the competition uneven but that’s the way it’s been for a few years so we suck it up and get on with it.”
The Storm will fly to the Sunshine Coast on Sunday and go into camp there before shifting to Brisbane for the game.