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Bellamy: Brandon can make mark in testing time while Cameron's out

Craig Bellamy says the absence of Cameron Smith for a few weeks due to injury will be "a real test" for his side as they target staying in the top two.

The Storm lost Smith to an AC joint shoulder injury midway through the first half of Sunday's 26-16 win over the Knights and the 37-year-old is expected to miss upcoming clashes with the Bulldogs, Roosters and possibly Eels.

Bellamy said the Storm would have "to learn to deal with it" but backed Brandon Smith to do a good job in the skipper’s absence.

"Cameron has had a great influence on our team so it is going to be a real test for us without a doubt but I have got a lot of confidence in Brandon to come in and replace him," Bellamy said.

"He is a different style of player but we think he will do a real good job.

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"We just need to get the halves [Cameron Munster and Jahrome Hughes]  and the fullback [Ryan Papenhuyzen] and a couple of our experienced ruck players to take more responsibility with our communication in what we do and how we are doing it.

"It is a good test but something we are looking forward to."

Bellamy told his players at half-time against the Knights, as they held an 18-6 lead,  that the test was coming pronto without Smith.

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"We needed everybody to stand up and to my way of thinking they did a really good job there," he said.

"When Cameron scored [before he went off] we were playing pretty good but lacked that bit of execution to put a lot of pressure on them, and I think that was because Cameron wasn’t there.

"Our halves and Paps took more control and I thought our second half was quite measured and I was quite happy with how we handled when Cameron wasn’t there."

Bellamy also addressed his coaching future in the wake of Storm chairman Matt Tripp telling News Corp that he was keen for him to remain at the helm beyond his current contract, which runs until the end of 2021.

"I have got a contract until the end of next year and that is probably when I am looking to finish," Bellamy said.

"There are a lot of things happening at the moment that have probably been a bit distracting and they can tire you out a touch, so perhaps I am in that sort of mood at the moment.

"I have still got 18 months to go and things might change.

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"If they put a timeline on me I might have to make a decision but at the moment it is just about getting through each week the best we can.

"I have always loved the game and it has always been a part of my life but I am a grandfather now and want to try and spend more time with [the grandkids]."

Meanwhile, the Storm have requested Sunshine Coast Stadium review its crowd management practices and capacity before the home game against Canterbury this Saturday.

According to a statement issued by the club on Sunday night, the stadium operates under a site-specific COVID safe plan approved by Queensland Health and includes having Queensland Police in attendance.

"Today’s attendance of 5437 was inside the 50% capacity approved by Queensland Health for sporting events of this nature in Queensland."

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.