Melbourne's outside back 'curse' continues
For Craig Bellamy and the Melbourne Storm this season, it seems as though each passing week means another injury to their outside backs.
Ben Hampton was the latest to join the injury list after tearing his calf in Saturday night's thrilling one-point win over the Cowboys.
Hampton will most likely spend close to a month on the sidelines, and Bellamy joked it could have something to do with the jumper numbers.
"It just seems to be that when we throw someone in a 3 or 4 jersey they get hurt, so I've got no inclination in throwing [Cameron] Smith, Cooper [Cronk] or Jesse [Bromwich] out in the centres at the moment," Bellamy laughed.
"It's a bit of a shame, now we’ve just got to find someone to replace him, and we'll make that decision after today's session.
"Richie Kennar has trained with us through the week, and young Tohu [Harris] did a great job for us last week too. So we'll be having a look at a few things this afternoon and we'll go from there."
One name that's likely to be at the forefront of Bellamy's mind is former Eel Ryan Morgan, who signed with the Storm less then two weeks ago.
Morgan has played one game with the Sunshine Coast Falcons, the Storm's feeder team in Queensland, and Bellamy said he wouldn’t hesitate in bringing Morgan into the first grade for Monday night's game.
"It's tough to go up there and play in the feeder team when he doesn’t know any of the players and hasn’t ever trained with them," Bellamy said.
"He did reasonably well considering he's got no combinations with the other players defensively or with the footy. He did OK overall, so we've got no qualms putting him into the side if we think that’s the right option."
The Eels have had an eventful season to date to say the least, but that isn't weighing on Bellamy's mind, as the veteran coach says his team are just concentrating on what they can control heading into Monday's clash.
"We're focused on ourselves at the moment, as we have been over the past two or three weeks. In saying that, Parramatta have been a very tough team this year, so we'll be expecting that on Monday night," Bellamy said.
After returning from injury in Saturday's win over the Cowboys, it was announced during the week that winger Marika Koroibete had signed a two-year deal with the Melbourne Rebels.
Koroibete will play out the season for the Storm before making the switch to rugby union. Bellamy admits he's unaware of the finer details of the move, but said the Fijian needed to do what he had to do.
"I don’t know what's happened internally between the ARU and the Rebels, but at the end of the day, he's gone. How he's come to go… it doesn’t matter to us, he's gone," Bellamy said.
"We're happy for Marika that this is what he's happy to do, and with all due respect, I think the decision was mainly a financial one, and I've got no problem with that, everyone these days does what's right for them."