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Melbourne eye early Cameron Munster return

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11th July, 2020
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He narrowly missed returning for Saturday night’s win over Canberra, but Melbourne are hopeful Cameron Munster can still come back early from a knee injury.

The Storm have now beaten both of last year’s grand finalists without their premier playmaker and now sit comfortably in the NRL’s top four.

Munster was initially expected to miss four weeks with his grade-two medial and not return until Round 11, but he has recovering far quicker than expected.

“We are hoping to get Cam back sooner than they thought,” Craig Bellamy said.

“Our physio thought we might be able to get him back this week (against Canberra), but it wasn’t to be.”

If Munster’s return is held up, Bellamy could still move Cameron Smith back to the halves.

He played 80 minutes at hooker in Saturday night’s 20-14 win over Canberra, with Brandon Smith playing in the middle and Ryley Jacks staying in the halves with Jahrome Hughes.

But Bellamy said it was still a week-to-week consideration on how he would play his spine given the success his captain had in the halves against the Sydney Roosters.

“If Munster doesn’t play next week, we might go back to that,” Bellamy said. 

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“It comes down to what suits us, but also what suits us against the opposition we are playing.

“I thought Ryley Jacks did a terrific job (against Canberra). He was really solid for us. He looked likely a couple of times down the left-hand side in the first half.

“He’s tweaked his medial as well. He’s a tough kid, he did a really good job for us.”

Jesse Bromwich also picked up a knee injury in the win over the Raiders and is expected to spend some time on the sideline.

As far as Bellamy is concerned, Melbourne still aren’t firing but he is happy with the team’s fight.

Without their best attacking player they have found ways to win tight games against the Roosters and Raiders.

It comes after Bellamy was forced to question their effort in their loss to Penrith last month, with the team having won three straight since.

“I think there’s a lot of heart in this team and a fair bit of fight,” Bellamy said.

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“I don’t think we’re playing that good of footy with the ball but certainly our defence is fairly gritty and they’re willing to work hard for each other.

“That’s a real plus at the moment. 

“We were a bit concerned with our attack but we just never got a flow-on (against Canberra) at all because of the amount of mistakes we made.”

© AAP