Round 1 always an unknown

Even after 14 seasons at the top level Round 1 still has its element of the unknown for Craig Bellamy.

Melbourne has experienced a typically hard-nosed pre-season campaign and will be in prime shape for Friday night’s season opener against the Bulldogs.

There will be five changes to the Storm lineup that last ran out for the Grand Final five months ago.

Those winds of change add another interesting dimension to Friday night’s clash though the Storm coach is confident his boys will be ready.

“Training was a pretty short and sharp session yesterday,” Bellamy said.

“You never know until you get out there but we think we’ve had a pretty good lead up this week. The boys had last weekend off to freshen them up a bit but I would imagine most sides would be doing the same.

“We are pretty happy with where we are at the moment.”

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Storm will board a plane tomorrow for Sydney, en route to Belmore Sports Ground.

The men in purple will no doubt encounter a hostile atmosphere similar to their last visit to the ground back in 2015.

This time around their will be little chance of an ambush.

“It is a smaller stadium, the crowd is closer to the stadium, whether that effects the atmosphere or not I’m not quite sure,” Bellamy said.

“Obviously it has been the Bulldogs home ground for a long time, there is a lot of history there for them and a lot of people in rugby league.

“Teams have played a lot of footy there over a long period of time.

“I don’t see it as a really big issue, at the end of the day it is a suburban ground in Sydney and you’ve got to turn up to play.”