His side had just put 40 points on the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in a preliminary final. Yet Craig Bellamy sat with a scary calmness in the coaches box post-match. He didn’t say much and why should he?
Bellamy had just watched his side destroy their arch-rivals and still he sat. Proud, confident and ready for another shot at glory next Sunday at ANZ Stadium.
He watched his players do a lap of AAMI Park for their adoring fans. Many of the players enjoyed the lap with their children.
Todd Lowrie and his son shared a moment with Channel 9’s Andrew Johns. Sika Manu and his son waved to the crowd while Melbourne Storm skipper played dead on the AAMI Park playing surface with his son.
He has known some of his players since their mid teens and watched them become men. There they were celebrating with their families in front of a jubilant Melbourne crowd. Still Bellamy sat.
The National Rugby League may have scratched their names from the record books, but you must understand Bellamy and his boys still believe they won those titles.
All the blood, sweat and beers still meant something. They still went through hell as a unit to win those premierships. That’s how Bellamy thinks. If he didn’t, he probably would have quit by now. It has surely kept the intense coach sain through some dark days.
This version of the Storm seem so relaxed and ready for Sunday. Everything they do and everything they say oozes class.
“Last year we ran out of legs by the end, and we got steamrolled by the Warriors,” skipper Cameron Smith told the press on Monday.
“We knew it was going to be important to be right in the back half of the season.
“We’re in a lot better shape than we were last year.”
You can see it. You can feel it.
“A lot of people see the great tries and fancy plays, but we really concentrated on making the small plays our big plays this year,” Smith said.
“That’s what’s made us a better team this year, and it makes us better prepared than last year.”
Canterbury-Bankstown are rightfully the minor premiers and should be favourites for Sunday. But don’t ever count out Bellamy’s boys.
Bellamy sat there on Saturday night and watched his boys be fathers with a whole new bunch of Melbournians.
Perhaps the coach was scouting the next breed of Melbourne Stormers?