Calm coach believed in his boys
As Storm went into half-time trailing by six points most would have been expecting Craig Bellamy to deliver his team one of those trademark ‘stern speeches.’
However it was quite the opposite.
There was no secret that Melbourne were not at their best during the opening 40 minutes of the Qualifying Final, completing just 13 of 19 sets and committing a total of six errors.
Despite their attack being off, they were able to stay in touch as their defence weathered a wave of Parramatta possession.
The Eels crossed the line twice while Cameron Munster was in the sin bin but outside of that, the purple wall held firm.
That left the coach with plenty of belief at the break.
“Considering the circumstances I was quite calm actually,” Bellamy said.
“I gave them a bit of a wrap for their defence. With one man down and the way we didn’t complete our sets I thought we did a good job to just hang in there.
“It was more or less about reinforcing what we planned to do and what we started to do at the start of the game, we just needed to get back to that again.”
They certainly did, with the attack looking much more ominous on the back of an 85 per cent completion rate in the second half.
Storm scored twice in the first ten minutes after the restart to take an eight-point lead that ultimately proved enough for them to hold on in the end.
It was a turn around that would fill them with plenty of confidence heading into a Preliminary Final in two weeks time, however the skipper knows they will need to be much better than they were on Saturday.
“It has been a really big week for the entire Club, there was a bit of pressure on us to perform today,” Cameron Smith.
“Having a look back on the 80 minutes I thought there were some areas we could improve on immensely. I don’t think we did so well in some areas today.
“Our ball control was poor, that is the best way to put it. You just can’t compete doing that at this time of year, no matter who you play.
“There are a couple of things to look at which is good for us, we didn’t play the way we can play but we still got up and won.”