Slater comeback pleases Bellamy
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy was pleased with the return of Billy Slater to the Storm line-up in Monday night's win over St George Illawarra and hopes the star fullback can build on this performance again next Sunday against the Titans.
It was Slater's first match for the Storm since suffering a shoulder injury in Round 10 last season.
"I didn't want him to go in with the mentality that he had to make up for last year, I just wanted him to go out there and play his natural game without trying to push things too much," Bellamy said.
"I thought that he did a real good job, and you'd only think that he's going to get better and better as he gets his timing back, and gets into the groove again."
Overall, the Storm's performance was a mixed bag for Bellamy, as he wasn't too pleased at the ease in which the Dragons scored in the first 15 minutes.
The remainder of the game was more to Bellamy's liking, as the Storm coach praised his side's work ethic to get back into the contest.
"I was really happy with the guys the way they got back in it in the first half, and I'm really happy with the way we hung on towards the end," he said.
"There's a lot of things we need to improve on, without a doubt, but I thought we showed plenty of fight and we hung in there pretty good."
The shock inclusion of centre Cameron Munster was another big talking point, and Bellamy admitted to taking a gamble on the youngster when naming his Round 1 side.
"It was a bit of a risk to play him with match condition and the amount of training he's missed, but we've got a lot of faith in him, and after what he did for us last year he deserved the start," he said.
Like Bellamy, Melbourne captain Cameron Smith was happy with the team's fight back from an early 10-0 deficit. Smith said that when his side reverted back to the basics, it was just what they needed to shift the momentum back their way.
"From that point on [going down 10-0], we just wanted to play simple, and apply a bit of pressure back onto the Dragons, and I thought we did that," Smith said.
"With our completions, the boys were running hard through the middle, and we were kicking longer, and we were able to get a couple mistakes off their back three. We had a couple repeat sets down their end, and we sort of fought back from there."