NRL 2023: Storm coach Craig Bellamy ‘goes nuclear’ in shock thrashing

Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy has blasted his side, admitting the effort was not good enough in the side’s 26-12 loss to the Canterbury Bulldogs on Saturday night.

Down 16-0 at halftime, Bellamy blew a fuse during the break after his Cameron Munster-less side fell in a heap.

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The Storm are clearly going through a transition period after losing forwards such as the Bromwich brothers and Felise Kaufusi to the Dolphins but have also suffered a mounting injury list.

At the break, former Storm half Cooper Cronk said Bellamy had every right to be furious.

“That is why Craig Bellamy is blowing up deluxe because the first time in a long time they haven’t given too much this half and 31 missed tackles in 40 minutes of football,” Cronk said.

“I have been there and heard it and there will be a reaction from the Melbourne Storm players because when this men tells you that you are not pulling up your socks enough he will let you know and he will not miss.

“The fact that they can turn up for their first home game of the year and put in that first 40 minutes.

“Craig Bellamy has gone nuclear and there will be a response in the second half.”

Michael Ennis branded the performance: “Un-Melbourne-like”.

But within 10 minutes of the start of the second half, the Bulldogs were out to 26-0.

Although the Storm hit back with two consolation tries, it was never enough an probably flattered the scoreline.

In the Storm press conference, Bellamy blasted the performance.

“The lack of effort (disappointed me most),” Bellamy said. “It was really poor, it’s what we pride ourselves on here. Start of the game they were a lot more enthusiastic than us. They were tackling harder, they were doing everything better than us. We were a mile off with some of our effort areas. I didn’t see that coming.”

Bellamy wouldn’t take the injuries to as an excuse.

He also wasn’t happy the side stemmed the flow at the end, saying “it was a bit late”.

“We were 180 degrees from how they defended but we just lost control,” Bellamy said.

“We got what we deserved. It could have been 40 when it was 26 so we’ve got a whole heap of work to do.

“We’ve got to show a bit of pride in our footy, show a bit of pride in what we’re supposed to be about as a footy team and also a bit of pride at home here.

“When someone misses out, someone else gets a chance so we just want those guys coming in to take the chance, not sit back hoping the other guys will do their job tonight. But it was all over the field tonight, it wasn’t just our young blokes, or our middle aged blokes or our most experienced blokes, it was all of them.”

He said Nelson Asofa-Solomona also suffered a medial knee injury and expected him to be out for a few weeks.

Captain Christian Welch said he didn’t know why the side didn’t have the effort the NRL has come to expect from the Storm.

“It’s just really disappointing in the first home game,” Welch said. “Our members, they pay a lot of money to come to these games and to dish that up, it’s really disappointing.”

The win for the Bulldogs ended a seven-game losing streak against the Storm in a rampant 26-12 victory away from home.

Melbourne missed a massive 31 tackles in the opening half alone, which became a theme of the embarrassing night as the fleet-feet of the Bulldogs backline, including fullback Hayze Perham and winger Jacob Kiraz, created bust after bust in a massive first win for new Canterbury coach Cameron Ciraldo.

A late rally in the second half from Melbourne created a frenzied final few minutes but only helped the home team avoid the sort of blowout they are used to inflicting on their much-improved opponents who were up 26-0 after 50 minutes of play.

The Bulldogs suffered the biggest loss in Round 1, a result which left a few questions for a team bolstered by significant off-season signings.

Bulldogs hooker Reed Mahoney was a standout in a game dominated by the visitors who came with an all-in game plan and executed.

“We want to play every play, play to win,” Bulldog’s flyer Addo Carr said.

“Keep backing our defence, backing our efforts, really playing for each other.”

Melbourne’s loss was its third in a row at AAMI Park, and fourth in five games dating back to last season.

Once unbeatable at their home ground, the defeat was also Storm’s biggest in Melbourne since they lost 22-6 to Canberra in Round 3, 2020.

Storm didn’t score its first try until 50 minutes in to the game and their 12-point haul was their lowest at game since that same night against the Raiders.

With NCA Newswire

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