Storm turn attention to Nines
With the inaugural NRL Auckland Nines tournament fast approaching, Storm turned their attention to the abbreviated format on Wednesday.
Speaking to the media, Melbourne Coach Craig Bellamy declared that while the tournament had not been a focus for his side throughout the pre-season, some specific Nines training would begin to take place with the competition just three days away.
"It hasn’t been a big part of our pre-season, we’ve started to do a little bit of work on it this week," Bellamy said.
"The players had a meeting today and they are keen to go there and do well.
"Anyone who pulls on a Storm jumper wants to go out and compete hard. We want that mentality to go right through, it doesn’t matter whether that is Nines or with 13.
"The squad is training together but at stages they will split up for the Nines, we did that with them yesterday as well and there will be a little bit more of the Nines today."
The new concept which will see all 16 NRL clubs compete at Eden Park in Auckland over two days with over $2 million dollars prize money up for grabs. Bellamy was unsure when asked about which strategy would work the best in the nine a side format.
"We have to put a little bit of time into it, I’m not sure what the right tactics are, I don’t think anyone probably does," Bellamy said.
"We’ve got a couple of things we want to try and think might be effective so we’ll have a look at that at training today."
The coach also confirmed that his side has recovered well following their trial match played against Canberra on Saturday where conditions pushed 40 degrees.
"Everyone pulled up okay, we got through without injury which was good, that’s always a worry in the trials," Bellamy said.
"Obviously the guys were quite fatigued and dehydrated but they obviously got some fluids into them after the game and we all pulled up pretty well.
"We tested them again yesterday before training and they’re all good hydration wise."
In other news, former Storm five-eighth Brett Finch has returned to the club during the week to help with the coaching of Melbourne’s young halves.
“He’s just doing a bit of work with our halves…hopefully he can help them develop into the sort of player he was," Bellamy said.
“We love having him here, the younger halves at the club will get plenty out of him and I’m sure with his personality it will be an enjoyable couple of days for everyone.”
Bellamy also joked that the much loved Finch, who finished his first-grade career with Melbourne last year, would bring plenty of entertainment in addition to his expertise with the club's young halves.
“We actually haven’t brought him down to help with morale but I’m sure he will,” Bellamy said.