General Bellamy fears in-form Warriors

Paul Holmes_old


Bellamy fears in-form Warriors

August 18, 2006 - 1:14PM

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy says his side faces a danger game against the New Zealand Warriors, which he rates as one of the form teams of the NRL competition.

The Storm is looking to extend its unbeaten run at Olympic Park to 16 and stretch its winning streak to 12 matches.

But Warriors vice-captain Ruben Wiki says his side will play like it has nothing to lose against the runaway ladder leaders - and that's just what Bellamy fears.

He says he has watched recent footage of the Warriors, including last week's crushing 26-0 win over 2005 grand finalist North Queensland, and he couldn't be more impressed.

"They're a side in really good form at the moment," said Bellamy, who will chalk up his 100th match as Melbourne coach.

"They won their last two against Cronulla and the Cowboys, who were desperate to stay in the eight, and the month before that they took the Bulldogs to extra time and Parramatta just got them at the end of the game.

"Every game is a tough game in this competition but certainly these guys are more dangerous than most."

Statistics back up Bellamy's impression of the New Zealand side.

Deducted four points before round one because of salary cap infringements, the Warriors have climbed to 12th position and admit that with three rounds remaining they are playing only for pride.

But they trail only the Storm and Bulldogs in points for and against on the table, while they have an 7-8 win-loss record against high-flyers Melbourne, as well as one draw.

"They're a bit like us. Being away from Sydney and Brisbane they fly under the radar but with footage I've watched this week I couldn't be more impressed to be quite honest," Bellamy said.

"It's a credit to the team with what they've done this year after the start they had.

"It must have been quite demoralising losing those four points and certainly in the last six weeks they've being really good."

The Storm are likely to rest either Brett White or Garrett Crossman and give former Wests Tigers prop Jeff Lima, who shifted from France mid-season, his first-grade debut after he impressed with feeder side Brisbane Norths.

Bellamy didn't believe his side would be affected by this week's bitter contractual tug-of-war between Melbourne and newcomers Gold Coast over in-form winger Steve Turner.

The NRL has sided with the Titans, however Turner's playing future is still undecided with Melbourne refusing to back down.

"Hopefully it won't be a distraction," Bellamy said.

"At the end of the day Steven has decided that he wants to stay here and he came to us with that and when we discovered the circumstances we wanted him to stay so we don't see too much in that.

"He wants to stay and we think we're within our rights to accommodate him.

"Hopefully in the next few days it will be sorted out and we'll be able to move on."

© 2006 AAP
thats cool. at least coach bellamy respects the warriors. cant ask for more than that
Hehe yeah nice of him and it's probably very true. But we want the praise AFTER we beat them Storm ;)
Normal coach mind games, although i think these comments are directed at his players rather than ours, they're the one's with nothing really to play for either, minor premiership basically sown up, knowing there's NO way there not going to make the final's, they've just come from a hard away trip. I'm am glad hes decided to rest a forward, we Warriors just love playing against inexperienced forwards...mmhh...mmhh.....
Our forwards will do the job(as usuall), its our backs defence that has to stand up. Martin usually misses 6 tackles & Hohaia only missed 2 last weekend & now we actually have attack on both sides of the field, about time.

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