The Melbourne Storm may have come away as dominant winners against the Canterbury Bulldogs but hard taskmaster Craig Bellamy expects more.
Not one to shy away from speaking openly, Bellamy was disappointed with some of his side’s defence.
“The scoreboard looks pretty good but I was a bit disappointed with some of our defence and I thought we lost our discipline a couple of times,” Bellamy said.
“There are a few things we’ll look to improve on and a few things we’d like to keep going, obviously.
“I thought some of our shapes we ran tonight [were good] and I thought our execution and timing was better, especially our right side, which was good.
It was one-way traffic early as the Storm looked like they were ready to put on a cricket score.
Felise Kaufusi caught the Bulldogs defenders napping at dummy half as he crashed his way over to open the scoring.
A cheeky shortside play that caught the Bulldogs off-guard produced the Storm’s second try.
Munster ran the ball forwards, grubbered back inside and halfback Jahrome Hughes was there to score near the posts.
A simple crash play through a soft Bulldogs middle saw Christian Welch avoid the dreaded season-ending nudie run.
Breaking their scoring duck and proving that they can attack well when they want to, the Bulldogs were the next to score.
After a tough offload from Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Kyle Flanagan found Englishman Luke Thompson who strolled over.
The returning Harry Grant was quickly involved upon his return to the field, as he found Tui Kamikamica close to the line and the Fijian international did the rest.
A biff ensued following Kamikamica’s try and as a result, referee Chris Sutton sent both Ofahiki Ogden and Nelson Asofa-Solomona to the sin-bin.
The Storm continued their adventurous ways and scored again before the break, this time with a right short-side play that saw Hughes find George Jennings in the corner.
Ryan Papenhuyzen then scored one of the tries of the season to date as he showcased his commitment and blistering speed.
Breaking down the right edge, Jennings kicked back inside and when all hope seemed lost as the ball neared the dead-ball line, Papenhuyzen appeared and grounded successfully.
The Bulldogs would not die wondering, however, and scored the first of two quick tries.
Adam Elliott’s half-break was all that was needed to pop an offload to Jake Averillo who had a simple passage to the line.
Averillo would then turn provider when a crossfield kick found a soaring Watene-Zelezniak who leapt above Cameron Munster to score.
As the final ten minutes neared, the Storm all but sealed the win.
Attacking right, it was a deft grubber from Kenny Bromwich that saw Justin Olam react quickest to score an easy try.
Munster and then Addo-Carr combined with a perfectly weighted kick and blistering speed from the winger all it took, as he strolled away to score.
The Storm would then hit the fifty-point mark to cement a 52-18 win.
It was Papenhuyzen again involved, this time breaking the line and finding Nicho Hynes on his inside to score.
Bellamy knows that it does not come much tougher than the Sydney Roosters and wants to see how his side responds in six days.
“The two losses we’ve had opportunities in the last five minutes to win those games and we couldn’t do that,” Bellamy said.
“We’re running into another good team on Friday night. The Roosters always give you a stern test.”
Although they looked better, it was their defence letting them down at times and that is something Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett refuses to cop.
“It was really poor and put us under too much pressure,” said Barrett.
“Whilst I can sugar-coat over it, I’m not going to cop it.
“The two tries before half-time and the two at the death – that’s 24 points. We just can’t do that.”
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Christian Welch (MEL)
2. Ryan Papenhuyzen (MEL)
1. Jake Averillo (CBY)