A man who knows Craig Bellamy better than most has lifted the lid on a little known side to the Melbourne coach, revealing how the legendary coach is dealing with the Storm’s sudden slump.
Storm legend Billy Slater, who played under Bellamy throughout his 319-game NRL career, says his former coach is not “all blast”.
Slater has given the insight after Melbourne slumped to its fourth loss on the bounce for the first time since 2014.
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A 24-12 defeat to South Sydney at Homebush on Saturday followed losses to Manly, Cronulla and Canberra, leaving Melbourne sitting in fifth on the ladder after round 19.
“He’s very measured with his coaching, Craig, and he’s evolved over the years … when there’s a non-negotiable that’s not up to standard Craig will be very firm with that, but at the same time he won’t be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. He’s quite a measured coach,” Slater said on Wide World of Sports’ Billy’s Breakdown.
“He’ll let all his assistants have a say, he’ll let his players have a big say, as well, because at the end of the day they’re the ones out there performing. They’re the ones that need to turn it around.
“We see Craig Bellamy as this guy that just blows up all the time and gets a reaction from his players.
“He’s not that, and I think he’ll be quite measured this week, but firm in the areas he needs to be.”
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What next for the Storm? Billy’s Breakdown
The Storm are set to travel to New Zealand to meet the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium on Friday night.
The long-term NRL powerhouse will again be without winger Xavier Coates, who’s recovering from an ankle injury, and forward Brandon Smith, who’s serving a three-game suspension for calling a referee a “cheating bastard”.
Smith is due to return in round 21 and Coates the following week.
Melbourne’s backline has been smashed on the injury front, with Coates, Ryan Papenhuyzen (knee), George Jennings (knee) and Remis Smith (pectoral) all out for the season.
Slater expects the returns of Smith and Coates to boost the Storm considerably, and he’s backing his beloved club to emerge from the rough patch.
“I don’t see them being in the hole that everyone thinks that they’re in. They’ve put in a couple of good performances; it’s just not all working for them at the moment,” Slater said.
“I think a lot of it is due to some injuries that they’ve had in the outside backs. You look at their back five and you take Justin Olam out … and it’s a totally different back five to round one.
“They will get it together. They’ve got too many good players.
“They’ve been through this Origin period, (they’ve) been battered and bruised through that period.
“They will get it together.
“There’s still six weeks before the finals.
“But they’ve got to make sure they’re in the (top) eight when they do.”
The Storm are scheduled to face the Warriors, Titans, Panthers, Broncos, Roosters and Eels over the remainder of the regular season.
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