Wait and see with Smith, Cronk
The question whether Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk will take the field for Storm tomorrow night is unlikely to be answered until just before kick-off.
Both players returned to the Club on Friday after steering Queensland to a 6-4 win over NSW in Game I on Wednesday night.
They will be assessed by Storm’s medical staff prior to the captain’s run with a final call on their fitness to be made an hour before Saturday night’s clash with Penrith at AAMI Park.
“Cameron has come in, he looks like he is moving okay…Cooper has just arrived and he is getting assessed at the moment,” Craig Bellamy said.
“We will see how that goes and then they will go out and do a little bit (at captain’s run), they won’t do a whole heap.
“Until I hear a report from the doctor about Cooper’s ankle and until we get the okay from there, we will go have a look at him out on the field. We haven’t thought about it too much, we just wanted to get them here, see how they feel, see what the doctor thinks.”
With 54 Origin games between them, Smith and Cooper are well accustomed to backing up from their Queensland duties.
Given the physical nature of State of Origin, stepping back onto an NRL field just three days later is an enormous challenge, meaning it will be a race against the clock for both to prove they are match ready.
“They are always keen to back up those guys, they pride themselves on backing up for their Club after they play Origin,” Bellamy said.
“It would be hard to imagine Cooper playing to be honest, that is how you would be feeling.
“He will be keen to play and if he thinks he is right to play he will be very persuasive but I’ll be going more on the doctor than what Cooper says.”