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Eye of the Storm: Meaney, King thriving under Bellamy's watch

As Nick Meaney embarked on his NRL career at the Knights late in the 2018 season, he could never have imagined that four years later he’d find himself on the end of a potent Storm backline featuring Cameron Munster and Ryan Papenhuyzen.

It’s also fair to assume that Josh King, who was toiling away in the front row for Newcastle at that time, could have envisaged packing down alongside Jesse Bromwich and Felise Kaufusi in the far away land of Melbourne.

Meaney’s journey would take him to the Bulldogs for three seasons after that debut year in Newcastle before he headed to Melbourne in 2022 looking for an opportunity.

King played 78 games across six seasons at the Knights before he too put his faith in Craig Bellamy to take his career to the next level.

Going to a new club, especially one as stacked with talent as the Storm, could be seen as a risk, but the rewards have been massive for both men.

Cowboys v Storm


“Everyone can see how good a club the Storm is and I love it here,” said King, who has doubled his output from 56m per game in Newcastle to 113m in Melbourne.

The good thing about Melbourne is that everyone has a certain role.

Josh King

"I’m playing a pretty simple role, playing bigger minutes, making a few tackles and taking runs where they need me.

“I’ve just been doing my job and that’s all they expect of me. I’m loving it here, they just simplify footy so much and it’s the most confident I’ve ever been in my career.

Meaney loving life in Melbourne


“Craig gives everyone a role and the role he gives me he knows I can achieve. He doesn’t expect me to go out there and bust tackles and score tries or anything like that.

“Just being able to come down here and simplify everything and be able to run out every week with blokes I’ve looked up to for a long time like Jesse Bromwich, and you’ve got Munster and Papenhuyzen and Harry Grant, you just let them do their thing and watch in awe of them most of the time.”

Of all the qualities that make Bellamy one of the game’s most revered mentors, it’s the ability to transform bit part players into premiership players, solid first-graders into spectacular success stories that stands out.

All while keeping the message concise and asking them to focus on doing their own job well and trusting that those beside them will do the same.

“Coming to this club, they’ve had a lot of success over the years, so there were no guarantees when I came here that I was going to be in the team in round one, round two or round 10,” said Meaney.

Bellamy happy with Josh King


“When you’re enjoying your footy and winning games it makes the job a lot more enjoyable.

“I’m fortunate to be there on that left edge week in and week in and week out and hopefully I can hold that spot and keep playing some good footy.

“Our combinations are coming along nicely. Cam Munster is a pretty spontaneous kind of footballer so I have to be ready to go and on my toes at all times.

“I’m really enjoying defending next to [Juzzy] Justin Olam as well. Teams run such good attack at edges these days that you have to have that trust and know what your centre will do without even talking to them.

“It helps having a good centre next to you on the defensive end.”

Bellamy: We got what we deserved tonight


The Storm boast the third best defence in the NRL, giving up just 14 points per game, so conceding 32 to the Panthers last weekend came as something of a shock.

Another side capable of piling on the tries are the Cowboys, who lie in wait for the Storm in Townsville on Saturday.

“We had a reality check against the Panthers and that brings you back down to earth and highlights the areas you need to work on,” said Meaney.

“I’m sure we’ll probably get another one throughout the season and it can be good for you. It gets you ready for finals or later on into the season.”

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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.

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