Bellamy tempers Storm-Roosters hype

His side might be facing off against their nearest rivals on the ladder but Storm coach Craig Bellamy isn’t putting extra pressure on his team for Saturday's clash against the Roosters.

‌Both teams sit comfortably in first and second place with less than a month of the regular season remaining, but Bellamy isn't hyping the importance of their Round 23 meeting.

"They're all worth two points," he said. 

"Obviously it's the two teams at the top of the table playing off, and it's getting closer to the semis as well. It’s a big game, but they're all worth two points. We put as much preparation and effort every week. It's been business as usual."

The Tricolours gave up 28 points in the second half against the Sea Eagles last round, but the Storm coach isn't taking them too lightly.

"The Roosters played really well in that first half hour," he said. 

"They usually don’t get run down from that position. But they've had a couple of guys out and injuries as well – really important players like [Jake] Friend and [Boyd] Cordner – who are coming back this week. 

"Their level will go up this week. Hopefully we concentrate what we need to do."

The Storm will go into Round 23 as the NRL's most miserly team for points conceded and only second behind the Broncos for attack. Bellamy said he's happier with their defensive prowess this year.

"I've always been more defensive-minded than attack-minded," he said. 

"I've always felt if you're strong defensively, you've got a physically and mentally tough footy team. I think those sorts of teams win big games. That's always been my preference."

Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster is still at least a week away. Bellamy said he hoped he'd be available for the Roosters' clash but hasn’t recovered as quickly as he'd hoped.

The Storm coach also felt off-contract fullback Billy Slater would continue his NRL career for another year – at least he hoped he would.

"I think he'll play on.  I don't know whether that's a gut feel or a hope. I would really love to see him play on. He's been a great player and is still a great player. He's the sort of player who brings people along to watch our game. People like that we want to keep in our game."