Storm could see NRL season out in Qld

Melbourne are hopeful they can train and play NRL games at their new base on the Sunshine Coast.
Melbourne are hopeful they can train and play NRL games at their new base on the Sunshine Coast.

Melbourne want to play home games on the Sunshine Coast this year with coach Craig Bellamy resigned to the fact they could be based in Queensland for the rest of the season.

The Storm will play their first 'home' match at Suncorp Stadium against the Sydney Roosters on Thursday night, after moving north last week.

Their next 'home' game is scheduled for round 10 against the Gold Coast, on the same night the Queensland Reds are due to play at Suncorp.

As things stand, the Storm face a 90-minute bus ride to matches in Brisbane from their indefinite base on the Sunshine Coast.

The Storm already have links with the region through their feeder team in the Queensland Cup, and have played trial matches at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

"I'd love to (play games here)," Bellamy said.

"Were in the throes of trying to play the Titans game here ... I'm not quite sure what has to happen for that to happen.

"They have obviously played games here before, and not only trial games.

"If we are going to be here for a whole heap of time we would love to play all our games here if we can, because it's not as much travel as going to Suncorp."

When the Storm left home in Victoria last week they were hopeful it would only be for a period of two weeks.

However, since that announcement last Monday, 389 more coronavirus cases have been uncovered in the state - including 73 on Wednesday.

The NRL and the club's decision to move early has proven beneficial with Thursday night's clash unaffected despite Queensland's hardline stance on Victorian arrivals hurting the AFL.

About 20 families have since made the move north to join the Storm players and staff, and are in Queensland in quarantine.

More moves are also in the works.

The predicted stay has in turn ballooned out with Bellamy now preparing his troops to the prospect they may not return home before the end of the campaign.

"A few figures we got off the NRL the other day in a meeting with players and staff, I wouldn't be surprised if we were here for the rest of the season," Bellamy said.

"It depends on what happens down in Melbourne with the numbers.

"It's been hectic, the world has been tipped upside down.

"This week we didn't really want to put too much pressure on them with too much routine. It's a big change for all the families who are up here.

"Hopefully after this it can all settle down a bit more and get into a routine."

Australian Associated Press