You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has pleaded for the match review committee to keep the nature of the game in mind as he faces having a second player suspended in as many weeks for an alleged late tackle.

Back-rower Joe Stimson was placed on report in the 63rd minute of Melbourne’s 38-18 win over the Titans on Sunday for a late hit on Gold Coast five-eighth Tyrone Roberts, one of two Melbourne players who will be assessed by the match review committee.

Winger Suliasi Vunivalu could also be in strife for a challenge on Titans winger Phillip Sami but it is the new directive by the NRL that could have the most significant impact in the countdown to the finals series.

Maroons prop Christian Welch missed the Titans clash due to the one-game ban he incurred for a dangerous contact charge on Sharks opposite Andrew Fifita and Bellamy said it is an adjustment all players will have to make and make quickly.

"I think it's really hard,” Bellamy said of the interpretation of what now constitutes late contact.

"You can slow it down on TV and that looks late, but it's slow motion.

Match Highlights: Sea Eagles v Eels

"We've just got to take into consideration that you're out there playing, you're under fatigue, you're under pressure. Is late that late?

"I didn't think there was too much in it, a month ago it probably wouldn't have got mentioned.

"Because of the crackdown he got penalised. Hopefully that's all he'll get for it.

"It's a good lesson learnt for him and hopefully a good one for the rest of our players. They have to have the ball when you hit him and if they don't you're going to come in for a little bit of strife.

"I don't think there was that much force in it either."

The Storm’s win on Sunday maintained their six-point lead at the top of the Telstra Premiership with a 10-point buffer to fifth with just seven regular season games remaining.

They accounted for the Titans without Welch and fellow Origin stars Cameron Munster, Felise Kaufusi, Josh Addo-Carr and Will Chambers, with Brodie Croft and Cameron Smith orchestrating a convincing win.

Acknowledging their position on the ladder will afford the opportunity to rest some players prior to the finals, Bellamy conceded timing their run will be a delicate balance.

"If someone's carrying a minor injury and we think we can benefit from giving them a week off we'll do that but some players don't respond so well to time off," said Bellamy, the Storm to host Manly at AAMI Park next Saturday.

"Some players don't respond so well when they have a week off training but there are some guys who really respond well with a day or two off during the week.

"We're trying to get that right. We're in a pretty good position at the moment to do that if we want to but sometimes there's a real fine line between giving them too much of a rest and putting them in cotton wool.

"We're aware with the older players of which ones do respond and which ones don't but it's a bit of a test when you've got some younger blokes that we're looking to do that too as well."

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