Bellamy slams wrestle critics
Craig Bellamy has defended his side following more talk surrounding the tackling tactics used by the Melbourne Storm in their qualifying final win over North Queensland.
The Cowboys claimed several players had suffered sore necks due to tackles from Storm players, and even went as far as asking the NRL to look into the matter, only for the league to clear Melbourne of any wrongdoing.
Bellamy believes the saga has gone on long enough.
"The only reason I had a little bit of a say yesterday was to add a bit of balance," Bellamy said.
"I don't know how many times I've heard since the Cowboys game how many sore necks the Cowboys had, there's been multiple mentions of that. But how many mentions has there been of the NRL clearing us of any wrongdoing in any of the tackles? Ethan Lowe came out and said he's got no problem with our tackling style.
"I don't want to criticise anyone, I don't want to take anyone's right away of having a say, but I just wanted to add some balance because I know how many times we've heard the critical part of the story, but when we got a bit of support it got lost.
"To be honest, the balance is fact. The NRL cleared us twice, the Cowboys asked them to check it twice and they did and they had no problem, and Ethan Lowe has no problem with it, but that got buried under because it's on the back page and it sells papers."
What's more frustrating for Bellamy isn't just the accusations against his side, but it's the timing of these complaints that angers the Storm coach.
"With all due respect it's the same song as last year and the year before at this time of year, but it's just a different voice singing the song," Bellamy said.
"All year no one has had a complaint about wrestling or whatever it is, but as soon as September comes, let's bring the song out again.
"We haven't played it all year, we'll get a different voice to sing it and we'll play it again. I think the players deserve a little better than that, and the way it's been travelling the last couple of weeks I just thought it needed a little more balance."
Bellamy and his side will try to put this all behind them when they run out onto AAMI Park on Saturday night against the Raiders for a spot in the NRL Grand Final.
Melbourne travelled to Canberra less than two months ago and were slow out of the gates, and were never in a game the Raiders won 22-8.
The Storm know how crucial a fast start is against the Green Machine this time around, and Bellamy has pleaded with his side to be switched on from the opening kick-off.
"Any game you want to have a good start, but against Canberra you need to be on your game straight away and we found that out when we played them six weeks ago," Bellamy said.
"They scored off the first set inside one minute, so that just goes to show how dangerous a team they can be, so we need to start with a whole heap more energy than we did last time we played them."
Game on. Data off.
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