Storm’s Bellamy lashes NRL draw

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    Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy is threatening to withdraw some of his players from their 2013 round-two clash with North Queensland, saying the NRL draw threatens their health.

    He also sees the draw as unfair with his team receiving five five-day breaks, more than any other side.

    The defending premiers play the Cowboys in the heat of North Queensland on Saturday March 16, with the game kicking off at 6.30pm local time.

    They are then required to return to Melbourne for a grand final rematch against the Bulldogs on the Thursday night, a five-day turn-around.

    With the bulk of the team returning for pre-season training in Melbourne on Monday a furious Bellamy said the draw showed a lack of “common sense”.

    “The NRL and the Players’ Association talked to doctors about the shoulder charge but is anyone talking to them about dehydration?

    “It takes us a full day to get to the Cowboys and it’s basically still summer time.

    “It’s really hot and humid and then it’s a full day’s travel back and then they expect us to play four days later.

    “We’re really worried about the welfare of our players, so we’re told, but are any doctors being asked about their opinions on what this does to players.

    “We feel we’ve been shafted with that turnaround between the Cowboys and Bulldogs.”

    He said he would consider resting players from the North Queensland game.

    “I’m really concerned about our players and if I think it’s dangerous for some of our players then they won’t be playing up there.”

    The coach said he was made aware of the draw while enjoying a holiday break on a Queensland beach, late the afternoon before it was made public.

    He said the NRL should follow the AFL’s lead and give clubs at least a few days to voice their concerns about the draw.

    “Then there’s still time to perhaps change it.

    “And going back to the AFL, none of their teams have five-day turnarounds and with all due respect I think our game’s a bit more physical in contact than their game.”

    Bellamy said it was time for the Players’ Association to stand up for the players.

    While most of the Storm players got their pre-season underway, superstars Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk won’t be seen until after Christmas.

    Veteran half Brett Finch, who is returning for a second stint, will be on deck in early December.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (34)

    • Roar Guru

      November 27th 2012 @ 4:18am
      Cameron Kellett said | November 27th 2012 @ 4:18am | ! Report

      To put it simple the storm have been shafted! You would think if the NRL was to look at building on its current image, the two grand finalists would have been given a fair share. At least one of the two did. Bulldogs quite favourable actually with 9 scheduled Friday night matches, which is second best to Brisbane Broncos with 11, and no Monday night matches.

      It seems entertaining football, with a large viewing audience will suffer least compared to a champion team who has bounced back from losing everything and plays nitty, gritty football, and can flick a switch and dispose of teams easier than Veolia can when taking out the trash.

      • November 27th 2012 @ 8:18am
        Australian Rules said | November 27th 2012 @ 8:18am | ! Report

        The Storm do look shafted.

        As do the Hawks in the AFL. Last year’s Minor Premiers and Grand Finalists play the 7 other finals teams in the first 7 weeks!
        Not much reward for effort!

    • November 27th 2012 @ 7:05am
      Boomshanka said | November 27th 2012 @ 7:05am | ! Report

      What really irks me here is two years after Senator Conroy announced changes to the archaic anti siphoning laws, nothing has changed.

      The anti siphoning legislation was to have been reviewed by the end of 2009

      Changes to the legislation were announced over two years ago in November 2010 with proposed changes to include a “quality mechanism”

      In the last two years, The AFL, NRL, ARU and FFA TV contracts have been negotiated with no consistency in regulatory approach.
      The AFL deal was allegedly influenced from Conroys department with much fanfare, while the NRL one was seemingly completed in total isolation. Even the recent FFA announcement that Socceroos matches will be played live on Pay TV, with SBS to play these on an hours delay (in direct violation of the anti siphoning laws), but this is apparently OK as the Minister has given his usual, legislation on the fly, approach to sport (expect to see him as a guest at various world cup qualifiers, AFL matches etc).

      Perhaps the Minister or his Department could tell us how Friday night Broncos and having two of the three FTA games on delay meets these quality provisions or how his changes to the act have seen – in his words – “These reforms to the anti-siphoning regime ensure that it continues to be the strongest such regime in the world, protecting the interests of free to air viewers as we move into the digital multi-channel era”?

      Whilst this government of “decisiveness & action” continues to argue over weather or not Julia Gillard did this or Craig Tomson, did that, our free to air providers continue to shaft fans. Straight after yesterdays gritty test match, eastern states were again denied the opportunity to have a decent post match review as we cut straight to the news.

      Honestly, FTA don’t give a rats arse about sport, they simply wine and dine our politicians to ensure that they can hold us captive to their advertisers and make money.

      • November 27th 2012 @ 10:12am
        Dayer said | November 27th 2012 @ 10:12am | ! Report

        what is your relevance to Mellissa’s article?????

        • November 27th 2012 @ 10:17am
          FrancisC said | November 27th 2012 @ 10:17am | ! Report

          I didn’t even read Boomshanka’s post. Too intelligent for me. lol

        • Roar Guru

          November 27th 2012 @ 11:13am
          Cameron Kellett said | November 27th 2012 @ 11:13am | ! Report

          Dayer, how do you not see the relevance?
          Clearly Boomshanka is feeling and expressing what most of us were thinking. The Nrl schedule along with all other sports are shafting the fta viewers and teams that play for that sport, therefore supporting Bellamy and storms view on this matter of poor match scheduling.

        • November 27th 2012 @ 11:17am
          Boomshanka said | November 27th 2012 @ 11:17am | ! Report


          It has everything to do with Melissa’s article.

          If proposed changes to the anti siphoning laws had been enacted prior to the NRL media deal then FOX would have been able to secure their rights directly with the NRL, instead of the situation we currently find ourselves in which is that Channel Nine (who in my opinion – should never be allowed near sport – ever) currently holding all TV rights to the detriment of our sport.

          Channel Nine has too much influence in the game, largely as a result of the archaic anti siphoning legislation. Even when signing the deal a couple of months ago, David Gynell unapologetically stated “you play when we say”.

          The draw could have been exactly that – a draw, instead of the lopsided pretence that it is. The Raiders and the Storm are shafted.

          Without the anti siphoning legislation, sport would enjoy a real competitive return on their entertainment value and our FTA dinosaur networks would be more accountable to their audience. At the moment the audience / consumers have to be just grateful for whatever is dished out.

          • November 27th 2012 @ 11:28am
            FrancisC said | November 27th 2012 @ 11:28am | ! Report

            Got it now, thanks Boom and I fully agree with your sentiments.

          • November 28th 2012 @ 11:03am
            mushi said | November 28th 2012 @ 11:03am | ! Report

            this is based on the assumption that Fox would outbid nine on it’s own rather than continue with the current joint bid format

    • November 27th 2012 @ 8:18am
      Roarsome said | November 27th 2012 @ 8:18am | ! Report

      The NRL are pushing for a team from western Sydney to win the comp to try and reaffirm their dominance in the area. Look how many top 8 sides the Bulldogs played this year compared to Melbourne. It’ll be interesting to see if the Eels are given permission to break the salary cap to keep Falou in league too. Totally unfair to every other club, but interesting. Back to the issue, Melbourne are the best team in the league and play the best football and yes, they’ve been shafted (no, I’m not a Melbourne fan). Add Origin complication and the teams selected to play against Melbourne during the origin period and you can see the bias unfolding. The NswRL is Sydney’s game and they’ve not won much recently with the exception of Manly who are disliked my most supporters. We just have so except the decisions made in Sydney. Is been happening for years and will continue to happen.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [].

      • November 27th 2012 @ 5:53pm
        JayBob said | November 27th 2012 @ 5:53pm | ! Report

        That’s why the NRL gives Melbourne $4-5 million extra each year hey? I’m sick of people feeling sorry for Melbourne, and this apparent NSW conspiracy. Why is it that Melbourne had the best penalty differential last year and Bulldogs had the worst? If the league wanted a team from Western Sydney to win then it is pretty strange to try and penalise them out of every game.
        Melbourne aren’t on FTA much because they STILL don’t have enough fans. Imagine if they were an average team over the last decade, rather than a highly successful one, they’d probably have 10 fans(you can see why the NRL tries to help them so much, and how ironic it is that fans think they are hard done by). Bulldogs are on FTA because they are popular, simple really. Personally I would prefer them on Fox because I’d rather watch it in HD without ads. Also I live 3 hours away so it’s impossible for me to attend any of those Friday night games. I should complain about it but it’ll probably just get lost in the incessant whining from everyone else, especially the Storm.

        BTW Bulldogs played every other top 4 team twice last year, the Storm only played the Bulldogs twice(from the top 4). So you think the Storm had a harder draw because they played the Broncos, Raiders & Sharks twice whereas the Bulldogs played the Rabbits and Eagles twice? The top 4 were clearly ahead of the rest, and the next 4 weren’t much better than the other 8 sides.
        Storm should have had a harder draw due to their relative position in the prior year, but they still had an easier one.

        • November 27th 2012 @ 7:41pm
          Renegade said | November 27th 2012 @ 7:41pm | ! Report

          I’ll have a guess and say that your a bulldogs fan……did you think that maybe the reason you got penalised the most is because the team is full of grubs?!?!

          • November 27th 2012 @ 9:30pm
            JayBob said | November 27th 2012 @ 9:30pm | ! Report

            Great comeback, didn’t expect much more from a Storm fan.

            Please explain to me why we never received penalties then? It wasn’t just that we got penalised a lot(I agree, that can be our bad discipline). We consistently received a low amount of penalties as well. The only way that could possibly make sense is if every time we played a team they all of a sudden had good discipline and didn’t put a foot wrong. Given the fact this trend continued throughout the whole year, it is highly unlikely that it’s just a coincidence.

            But anyway that’s besides my point. I was merely pointing out that Storm actually have it pretty good, better than every other club, but you wouldn’t know with all the whining and complaining you hear from south of the border. It seems a lot of Storm fans have no idea how much help they actually receive from the NRL. And all this crap about NSW conspiracies coming from both QLD and VIC is getting real old. Especially considering the Sydney teams have it the toughest.

    • November 27th 2012 @ 8:52am
      Meesta Cool said | November 27th 2012 @ 8:52am | ! Report

      Phar Lap was stopped with similar tactics (If you believe the movie). ad more weight until they can no longer go the distance.. yup, it is happening!.

      Bellamy has realised that you don’ HAVE to win every game, the Premiership can be wone easilly from 4th place as long as your players are not worn out… If he rests players then he is simply following his own teachings.

    • November 27th 2012 @ 9:13am
      Mals said | November 27th 2012 @ 9:13am | ! Report

      The NRL enjoy shafting the reigning premiers. They did likewise to Manly this year when they had to come back from Leeds & then fly to Auckland for their 1st game of the season.

    • November 27th 2012 @ 9:24am
      eagleJack said | November 27th 2012 @ 9:24am | ! Report

      Just another reason why going back to back is so difficult in the NRL.

      Manly were given a similar start in 2012 as the Storm are getting in 2013. Played the WCC, then Round 1 in Auckland on a Sunday, followed by a Friday night up at Gosford against the Tigers. I didn’t see another side all year back up 5 days later after playing in NZ. My feelings are scrap the WCC. The travel takes an incredible amount out of the players, for what is essentially a nothing game.

      @Roarsome I just looked at a map and noticed that the Broncos come from a town called Brisbane. Nowhere near Western Sydney. Little strange that they get the most favoured draw (year in, year out) when the NswRL (as you put it) are trying every underhanded tactic to get a Sydney team to win…….

      • November 27th 2012 @ 9:54am
        Renegade said | November 27th 2012 @ 9:54am | ! Report

        Totally disagree with scrapping the WCC…..The game is bigger than just the NRL you know.

        • November 27th 2012 @ 10:58am
          Return Melbourne's Premierships now said | November 27th 2012 @ 10:58am | ! Report

          Hear hear, the WCC is a fantastic idea and its just a pity it isn’t marketed here properly. The WCC should be expanded not scrapped.

          • November 27th 2012 @ 11:59am
            Boomshanka said | November 27th 2012 @ 11:59am | ! Report


            I’m with you, the WCC is a great idea but needs to be played closer to the end of the season and more than ever, promoted more.

            Check out the 1987 Wigan v Manly match. Many locals reckon there was close to 50000 watching the game on a cool Wednesday night. No tries, but a hell of an intensive match.

            Hard to believe this was 25 years ago, but if one listens to Hanleys and Lydons comments at the start of the Video, it meant a lot. The atmosphere towards the end of the game was electric including the crowd singing .”…the greatest team the world has ever seen”. This game lifted the team to the extent they went on to dominate, winning the Challenge cup for eight consecutive years.

        • November 27th 2012 @ 11:39am
          eagleJack said | November 27th 2012 @ 11:39am | ! Report

          Name one positive from having the WCC in its current existence? In theory it is a great idea. In reality it is a waste of time. They have it purely as they feel a need to have it, rather than put any effort into it whatsoever.

          Problems with the WCC:

          1. Huge travel for one game. Cam Smith noted a couple of years ago it takes until around Round 5 to get over the full effects of the travel.
          2. High intensity game so early in the season, in conditions completely different to what the NRL teams have just trained in. The ESL teams are 3 games into their season proper and have played a number of trial games. The NRL sides have usually had one or two trial games. Significant injuries are a major concern.
          3. It is played in the year after the team won meaning many premiership players are not involved. Hardly a contest between the 2 championship sides.

          Alternate it between the 2 countries. Or make it a bigger event with 2 or 3 sides from each comp involved. Play it a couple of weeks after the season. Do anything. But right now it is a waste of time. And the players agree.

          • November 27th 2012 @ 1:15pm
            Renegade said | November 27th 2012 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

            Again, i’ll just say rugby league is bigger than the NRL.

            It is huge for the game in the UK….just take a look at the crowds and ratings associated to the WCC.

            All your points are concerned with the NRL….and don’t make up fibs that the players agree with you, if they did agree they simply wouldn’t play and send a reserve grade squad over.

            It is gaining in relevance and importance every year except for people like Phil Gould…..maybe you’ve been listening to him too much.
            Ask the two competing teams this if the game lacks importance….

            • November 27th 2012 @ 2:09pm
              eagleJack said | November 27th 2012 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

              Making up fibs? Im not sure of your intentions when posting on the Roar but i see no point in making things up.

              This year Manly decided to treat the WCC as a celebratory tour of their 2011 success. The bonds and camaraderie formed on the tour meant that many off-contract players re-signed. The result was not important. Of course once on the field the players wanted to win. They are professional athletes, and their competitive juices push them to want to succeed. But the main goal of the trip was to enjoy themselves. Have fun. And come back with no injuries.

              Can you imagine the same mindset being acceptable going into an Origin? Or semi-final, Grand final or International? Even an NRL premiership game is treated far more seriously.

              The WCC is a sideshow. Im sure some clubs and coaches have considered resting their stars from competing but they have an obligation to send the best available squad over. As I said it is a good concept in theory. But more needs to be done for it to be treated as anything but a game they want to seem important but can’t be bothered really putting any effort into making it so.

              • November 27th 2012 @ 3:00pm
                Renegade said | November 27th 2012 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

                “Making up fibs? Im not sure of your intentions when posting on the Roar but i see no point in making things up. ”

                ??? Not sure what your trying to say there….

                Anyways i’ll agree with your last sentence that more needs to be done for what is a terrific concept however saying that we should scrap it, is plain backward thinking.

              • November 27th 2012 @ 5:37pm
                oikee said | November 27th 2012 @ 5:37pm | ! Report

                Celebratory tour. Are you for real. Look if they want to go join a Kontiki tour, then go. Nobody will miss Manly anyhow.
                But to treat a world club challenge like some sort of a dud game, please god in heaven dont ever let Manly win another comp. It’s a disgrace if your fans or players think this way.
                And league fans should have more pride..
                Sideshow? a sideshow.
                No wonder our game cant grow.
                Wigan are one of the most respected clubs in Rugby league.

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