You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Halfback question remains as Storm stars return

The Melbourne Storm will welcome back their galaxy of stars on Friday night with Billy Slater, Cameron Munster and Suliasi Vunivalu confirmed to play against the Rabbitohs but coach Craig Bellamy remains tightlipped about his plans for the halfback role.

Despite the excitement hanging in the air on finals eve, the Storm coach said his biggest job was to keep his young team grounded.

"You don't change a whole lot compared to during the season," Bellamy said.

"It's business as usual, it's just a little more hype. That's the difference – you just need to stay focused on what you need to do, and out there and do it.

"We don't start a season thinking we need to win 15 games or 17 games. We just take it week by week. It's always been that way."

Bellamy didn't directly answer whether Jahrome Hughes, named to start at halfback, would be his No.7 for the duration of the finals. Brodie Croft may yet come into that role on game day after being included in the reserves.

Bellamy wary of GI threat

"It's been a roundabout this year (with the halfback role). Those guys have had tough jobs," Bellamy said.

"Everyone thinks or expects them to be a Cooper Cronk, which isn't practical.

"We'll go with who we think's the right guy for the team. A little bit is about who our opposition is, and how they're going."

While Cronk's Roosters pipped Melbourne to the minor premiership, the Storm still have two other vastly experienced superstars in Slater and skipper Cameron Smith.

Storm halfback Brodie Croft.
Storm halfback Brodie Croft. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

"We just need them to go out and do their jobs," Bellamy said of Slater and Smith.

"Everyone knows their high standards they've produced over 14-16 years, so they've been wonderful players for our club and in rep footy. The other thing they add is experience.

"Cameron's playing his 34th final, Billy his 30th. That's a lot of finals. You'd like to think a lot of the boys will learn off their experience and rub off on them."

Bellamy is wary of South Sydney's robust forward pack on Friday night as well as Rabbitohs captain Greg Inglis – another ex-Storm star who Bellamy developed as a teenager.

"He's been a wonderful player, and all his wonderful moments have been in big games," he said of Inglis.

"We're very aware of that."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

VIEW ALL PARTNERS