‘What a mess of scrum!’
Star Melbourne playmaker Cameron Munster is yet to fully test his injured shoulder but coach Craig Bellamy remains confident he will play in Saturday’s NRL qualifying final against Canberra.
On the advice of the club’s medical staff Munster has sat out some of the Storm’s training drills as a precautionary measure.
Munster missed Melbourne’s final round win over North Queensland after injuring the shoulder in a monster tackle by Manly’s Jorge Taufua in the previous match.
While there’s a preliminary final berth up for grabs Bellamy says the Queensland five-eighth won’t play at AAMI Park unless he’s 100 per cent.
“He didn’t do all the session but he did what the medical staff wanted him to do, so we’re pretty confident he’s going to be playing,” Bellamy said on Wednesday.
“But he needs to get through another couple of sessions yet.
“We’re not going to play him if it’s going to affect him at all.”
The minor premiers lost their round 22 clash at AAMI Park – just one of four for the season – after holding an 18-0 lead.
Bellamy expects better of his Storm troops this time around.
“Canberra controlled the second half really well and had a lot more of the ball and a lot more field position so that’s one thing we will have to do better,” Bellamy said.
“They are a very good defensive side and with the ball they probably do a few things that are unexpected so they can catch you on the hop so we need to be expecting anything.”
Despite what’s on the line, Bellamy still plans to catch up for his usual pre-match coffee with his long-time friend, Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.
While Storm skipper Cameron Smith was in the spotlight for alleged dirty tactics following their last game, and Raiders youngster Hudson Young was this week banned for eye gouging, Bellamy said no topic was off limits.
“We haven’t got any set rules or contracts signed that show you can’t say that,” Bellamy said.
“We are just two old footy players, we talk about old times, old games, a little bit about family … not too much about the game gets spoken about.”
Bellamy wouldn’t be drawn on the eight-week penalty handed to Hudson, or if Stuart, who had vehemently defended his player, would employ a siege mentality to rally his players.
“No one wants eye gouging in the game, but that’s not my decision so I just stick to my job,” Bellamy said.
“Everyone has got their opinion on what was fair and what was not fair, but I haven’t really given it any energy at all, because it is none of my business.
“I am coaching the Melbourne Storm, so that is my job and I don’t want to be distracted.”