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Bellamy's Round 23 rundown

Melbourne Storm head coach Craig Bellamy spoke to the media ahead of his side’s Round 23 clash against the Penrith Panthers on Friday night.

Papenhuyzen return

“Yeah, well that’s the plan for this week and then we'll see what happens from there as we're not gonna rush anything.”

“He probably won't play 80 minutes but we're probably looking at 50-60 minutes or something around that.”

"If he gets through that we will reassess where he's at mentally but also where he's at footy wise and physically as well and then we'll plan the next week after that.”

“We’d love to have him back at the end of the year, but if he's not ready, well, we won't do it."

"We’ve played the patience game and he's played the patience game and we'll keep playing that, just focus on getting through those first 3-5 weeks which are gonna be really important.”

Hughes, Coates injury doubts

“Yeah he's [Hughes] is not feeling too well, so we’ll just see what happens the rest of the day and go from there.”

"Yeah, he's [Xavier] got a little bit of a problem with his hip, but yeah, we will just see how he pulls up and he’s gone to go and get a bit extra treatment so we'll go from there.”

“We've got a couple options there [should Hughes not be fit], we've got young Tyran Wishart as well who can play in the halves.”

“He's probably played everywhere except half this year, but he's been obviously a very valuable bench player for us so we'll just see what comes up with Jahrome and then we'll make that decision from there.”

Facing ladder-leading Panthers

“Penrith has been the benchmark for a few years now, so it's gonna be a big ask. We've had a pretty good week of training so we'll need to be at our best, but hopefully we'll be that.”

“It's the same in any game, you’ve got to be consistent for those 80 minutes, we just need to be a bit more consistent for a bit longer and, you know, hopefully we can do that tomorrow night.”

Payne Haas interest

"If you ask 17 NRL coaches, you'd all say you're interested in Payne Haas and while we'd love to have him at our club, at the end of the day it’s whether we can afford him and whether he wants to come as he's at a pretty strong club at the moment with the Broncos.”

Craig Bellamy pre-game media: Round 23

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.