Storm's Bellamy returns Eels fire

Storm's Bellamy returns Eels fire

Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy has angrily returned serve at Parramatta Eels mentor Brad Arthur for his comments on his side's perceived wresting tactics.

Ahead of the two teams' NRL Telstra Premiership qualifying final next weekend, Arthur gave a not-so-subtle sledge at the Storm's wrestling tactics saying "if we're allowed to play a bit of football, we might be a chance".

‌Bellamy felt the Eels were guilty of laying in the play the ball and said they should focus on themselves before critiquing other teams.

"It's amazing - every year it happens," he said. 

"Come semi-final time – a coach comes out [to criticise], like I said last year – it's the same song but a different singer.

"Brad made the point if they're allowed to come down and play their footy, well at the end of the day they can play any footy they like when they come down – that's their decision.

"But if he was having a go at us about defence and smothering, or whatever he likes to call it, I'll be talking to the referees boss this week about them, how they just lay all over opposition attack inside their opposition 20 metre zone."

"They go to sleep there sometimes, so again, he wants to fire a few shots at us, we'll be firing a few shots back. 

"Their players lay on in the play of the ball inside that 20 metres. I'm not quite sure how they get away with some of it. He should be looking at his own backyard before he looks at us."

The Storm will play the Eels at AAMI Park in week one of the finals, with the full schedule for the qualifying and elimination finals to be released after the completion of Round 26.