Bellamy stands by referee criticism
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has stood by his criticism of referee Ashley Klein following his side's stunning loss to Newcastle on Saturday.
In a game in which his side surrendered a 10-point lead with three minutes to play, Bellamy was left furious with an unfavorable 7-nil penalty count in the second half.
The veteran coach made his feelings known in the post-match press conference, accusing Klein of not liking the way his side goes about their football, and was standing by those words on Wednesday.
Klein has been stood down from NRL duty and will not referee in any first-grade game this weekend, instead overseeing the NSW Cup clash between Cronulla and Wyong.
"I don't want to crucify anyone but I thought at the time it was the right thing for my club and my players to make that point," said Bellamy.
"The NRL have come out and made a decision and they are obviously thinking along the same lines as me.
"I don't get any enjoyment out of seeing anyone dropped but the one thing that I think the NRL have done well here is that I think you need to be accountable for your actions.
"If I make mistakes I am going to get a whack over the head from the CEO and the footy manager and if one of these players makes too many mistakes well they are going to be playing reserve grade next week.
"I thought it was really important what I said after the game because what I thought was said was true. At some stage I've got to stand up for my players and stand up for my club."
Melbourne wrote to the NRL on Monday seeking clarification on a number of decisions that went against them last Saturday.
Instead of airing any grievances publicly, the club had previously written to the league to voice any concerns.
However Bellamy admitted Saturday's outburst was somewhat due to not having those issues dealt with satisfactorily raised in writing previously.
"The main thing was on the frustration on the night but I think there was a little bit of that as well," said Bellamy.
"I had spoken to the appropriate people about that before and it just happened again so I just thought it was the right thing to do after that game."
Melbourne will now turn its focus back to on-field business as they prepare to host 16th-placed Cronulla on Saturday.
With only points differential keeping the seventh-placed Storm above the ninth-placed Eels, this weekend's clash shapes as a must-win for Melbourne in what is shaping as an intriguing race to finals football.
Kick-off is at 5.30pm at AAMI Park with fans welcome to enter the playing area following the game as part of the club's Members Appreciation Round.