Pigs won’t fly and hell won’t freeze over but Melbourne Storm will be barracking for bitter NRL rivals Manly to win on Sunday.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy could not hide a wry grin as he admitted he would be cheering on the Sea Eagles in a bid to keep Melbourne’s top four hopes alive.
After ousting Brisbane 15-8 at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night, Melbourne need their nemesis over the past decade to down Cronulla at Remondis Stadium to earn the finals second chance.
Bellamy cheekily suggested Manly lift to provide a fitting farewell to outgoing coach Geoff Toovey and playmaker Kieran Foran (Eels).
“We’ll be cheering them on this time,” Bellamy said.
“I can’t remember the last time we have done that.
“That’s been a great rivalry for us over the years and that is built on respect.
“Hopefully they can put a big one in for Geoff Toovey and Kieran Foran.”
Melbourne were all but ruled out of title contention after superstar No.1 Billy Slater succumbed to a season ending shoulder injury in June.
However, the Storm have not missed a beat under replacement fullback Cameron Munster.
Hailing from Queensland just like Slater, the 20-year-old Munster was named man of the match on Thursday night after amassing 218 metres with the ball against Brisbane.
He outshone Brisbane No.1 and Queensland star Darius Boyd, adding to a meteoric rise that has already prompted 2016 State of Origin speculation.
“A lot of opposition over the past month have thought he is going to be quite easy to handle, but he hasn’t,” Melbourne captain Cameron Smith said of Munster.
“I was talking to (Brisbane’s) Sammy Thaiday after the match and he said ‘what about that Munster kid? How strong is he?’
“He doesn’t look it but he is hard to bring down, has a great fend.
“But he just enjoys playing the game, I think that is important.”
Bellamy also saluted the likes of two try hero Kurt Mann, Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Christian Welch.
“It’s the youngest team I have had since I have been there,” he said.
“They’ve really bought into what we are about.”