Coach Bellamy defends Storm attack

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has bristled at suggestions the Storm's attack has become predictable.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has bristled at suggestions the Storm's attack has become predictable.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has pointed to the NRL ladder for proof his team's attack isn't predictable, as described by NSW Origin coach Brad Fittler.

Preparing for their sudden-death semi-final clash with Parramatta on Saturday night at AAMI Park, a bristling Bellamy says his team has scored more points than any other so they don't have a problem scoring tries.

The minor premiers amassed 631 points in the regular season and averaged 26 points per game.

But they only managed one four-pointer in their 12-10 qualifying loss to Canberra last Saturday night, prompting title-winning captain Fittler to say they have a lack of firepower.

Compared to last season, Melbourne's wingers Josh Addo-Carr (14) and Suliasi Vunivalu (10) are both down in their tallies, especially compared to Parramatta's flashy competition try-scoring frontrunner Maiko Sivo (22).

While Bellamy said he would always like his attack to be better, he didn't believe the Raiders game was representative of their season.

"Obviously on Saturday night we didn't score many points but it was a defence-dominated game," Bellamy said on Wednesday.

"We recently scored 24 against the Cowboys and 36 against Manly at Brookvale so that's a pretty good effort.

"Sometimes it's not about how your attack's going, it's about how slow and fast the game is."

One match where they had no trouble getting across the tryline was in their sole meeting with the Eels this season in round nine, when the Storm ran in 11 tries in a 64-10 demolition job.

But Bellamy said there was zero to learn from that game.

"There's nothing - teams are different, the situation is different, different ground, different conditions.

"What happened in the past doesn't matter - we'd like it to be the same but it ain't going to be be."

Melbourne will bow out with a loss on Saturday night but Bellamy said he wouldn't consider it a wasted season despite being runaway minor premiers.

A win means they will travel to Sydney for an early grand final rematch with champions the Sydney Roosters in a preliminary final.

"I don't care what happens on the weekend - I hope that doesn't come back to bite me - but I'm really proud of this group whatever happens this week or in three weeks," he said.

"We will be really disappointed if we don't go any further but what we've done to win the minor premiership is that we've worked hard and stuck with each other and I think it's been a really good and successful season in that way."

The Storm named a full strength squad for the Eels although reserve forward Brandon Smith, who has a slight shoulder issue from the Raiders game, hasn't trained this week due to the flu.

Australian Associated Press