Bellamy defends Storm's style
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has hit back at rival Wayne Bennett and suggested the Broncos tactician may have a short memory when it comes to playing 'entertaining' football.
Bennett used the post-match press conference after his side's win over the Cowboys on Saturday night to contrast his side's "highly entertaining" football with the slower, less enthralling tactics being employed by the likes of the Storm.
The "wrestle" tactics of Melbourne have been thrust into the spotlight following last Friday's upset win over the Sydney Roosters that saw them secure a home preliminary final.
The Victorian side is now in the box seat to secure a sixth grand final berth in 10 years.
They could likely face the Broncos in a rematch of the 2006 decider, making the current war of words between the two coaches all the more intriguing.
Bellamy worked under Bennett as an assistant at the Broncos prior to taking the reins at the Storm in 2003.
Bennett is well known for playing out his mind games in the media and this latest suggestion of the Storm playing a dull style of football is yet another example.
However it is one that his former protégée has refused to take lying down, choosing to hit back with a suggestion of hypocrisy coming from his counterpart up north.
"I remember in 2010 St-George were criticised a lot for being a boring team and Wayne said he didn't give a rat's ass," Bellamy said.
"Now because he has got a team that can play what we see as exciting footy, especially with his young halves... now he wants everyone to play his sort of footy.
"It is a bit hot saying that we should be playing like them… at the end of the day what was their score (last week), 16-12? In our game it was 20-18 so there were two more tries scored in our game. Is that exciting for you, or is it making breaks and not scoring tries? I don't know."
"They've got their own agendas and they all play them out in the press. Obviously Wayne has been doing that for years and he will keep doing it but to me I get a little bit out of that because they must be concerned if they are watching us and mentioning us."
The Melbourne mastermind did not stop at Bennett, also taking aim at Roosters coach Trent Robinson for his post game complaint about the lack of officiating of the ruck during last week's qualifying final.
"I didn't see Trent Robinson mention our wrestle when they beat us 24-2 (in Round 12)," Bellamy said.
"I can guarantee we haven't changed anything with our defensive patterns, systems or whatever you'd like to call it. The last six weeks we've made a real emphasis with contact in tackles, I think that's been the real turnaround for us.
"Trent's been there for three years and he's obviously got a great side to coach. He's probably not used to losing so it was probably a bit of a shock to him.
"It's funny how it (the wrestle) always comes up at this time of year."