Storm brace for fired up Tigers
For the second week in a row Melbourne will face opposition that has endured a week of off-field distraction.
Last week it was Anthony Griffin and the Broncos, this week Wests Tigers coach Mick Potter has had his future clouded with talks of a contract extension with the club put on hold until the end of the season.
The Tigers’ season was thrown into turmoil on Sunday after a claim by Gorden Tallis that club captain Robbie Farah did not rate Potter’s coaching credentials.
The comment was flatly denied but with Farah a glaring absentee from Wednesday’s training session, all is clearly not well at Wests.
With almost a sense of déjà vu, Storm coach Craig Bellamy fells for his counterpart this week.
“You feel for any coach that has gone through what he [Potter] has gone through, last week it was Anthony Griffin,” said Bellamy.
“It is obviously a different situation, Mick’s still got his job but he has been dragged into something that probably wasn’t too much of his doing by the look of it.
“I don’t know exactly what happened or why it happened but at the end of the day you always feel for people who get tied up in those sort of things.”
Farah returned to training Friday and is set to go head-to-head with Cameron Smith when their two sides meet.
Despite the Tigers skipper admitting he has been affected by the speculation surrounding his coach, Bellamy expects the veteran to come to play on Monday night.
“He has been playing the game for a long time,” said Bellamy.
“Robbie Farah has been a tremendous player for the Tigers, he has been there 10 years, he is a professional so he will be ready to play without a doubt.”
While their opponents deal with the type of drama akin to a day time soap opera, Melbourne have almost a full squad to choose from and will arrive at Campbelltown Stadium looking to make it three straight wins.
Things may be looking rosey in Melbourne town but in the NRL the step from hero to zero can be made in a heartbeat.
It is a part of the game the Storm master coach is well aware of.
“I have been around too long to think the first 17 weeks was just a myth,” said Bellamy.
“We just have to continually work harder continuously on things that are important to us each week… hopefully we can hang onto that sort of effort.
“That has been the change. The tactics haven’t changed a whole heap it has just been the effort and people’s enthusiasm to go out there and get the job done.”
Melbourne will take on Wests Tigers at 7pm on Monday night at Campbelltown Stadium.