Dogs bounce back from early deficit to steamroll the Storm

Tim Lafai

Everyone knows that Craig Bellamy tells it like it is and he was not about to hold back as usual, labelling his side’s performance as rubbish as the Melbourne Storm were steamrolled 40-12 by a rampant Canterbury Bulldogs side.

It was not the sort of performance you would expect from the Storm as sloppy, ridiculous penalties cost them and defensively, they were out of sorts and could not deal with the Bulldogs players both on the fringes and in the middle of the ruck.

They were not helped pre-game when captain and star player Cam Smith injured his back in the warm-up, though that was no excuse as the Storm raced out to a 10-0 lead before the Dogs put on a show and ran away with the game.

Again, Bellamy did not hold back and had some stern words for his side’s abysmal performance.

“This club prides itself on competing. It doesn’t matter what turnarounds we get and what’s happened during the week,” he said.

“I expect the players to have a go, not sometimes we have a go.

“It was a good first 20 and a rubbish last 60. We were a sometimes team tonight – sometimes we wanted to play, sometimes we didn’t.”

It was a different performance for the Dogs as well, as they found some spark and creativity that had been missing from previous games – though their cause was also not helped when Frank Pritchard left the field with an ankle injury.

It was the crafty play of centre Tim Lafai – given a rare oportunity to show what he can do – and the solid, steady work-rate of English prop James Graham especially, that got the Dogs over the line.

The Dogs look the goods in attack and racked up forty points for the second time in three games, with Graham soldiering on and producing, after receiving two heavy head knocks earlier in the game.

It was the sort of performance that did not surprise his team-mates, given they know what his work-rate is like and what he is capable of.

Despite the head-knocks he suffered, he drew immense praise from his team-mate Josh Reynolds.

“That’s just him. He could probably have one leg and still come out and do his bit for the boys,” Reynolds said.

3. Tim Lafai
2. James Graham
1. Josh Jackson

“He’s a bull terrier.”

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