Cowboy Morgan's return puts Storm coach on guard
WHETHER Michael Morgan plays at fullback or in his regular No.6 jersey, Melbourne Storm is on high alert for the North Queensland Cowboy in his first appearance of the NRL season.
Morgan is set to play in the NRL grand final rematch at AAMI Park on Thursday night after being sidelined for the first two rounds with an abdominal injury.
The star of North Queensland's fairytale finals surge last season, he is a big inclusion as the Cowboys look to make amends for their 34-6 grand final thrashing.
He has reportedly spent time training at fullback, where ex-Storm utility Ben Hampton has been named, although is more likely to play five-eighth to take some pressure off Johnathan Thurston.
Bellamy said he was a danger wherever he lined up.
"We know he's back and we know the quality of player he is and wherever he is on the field there is going to be danger there when he gets the footy,” Bellamy said on Wednesday.
"Us sitting round here trying to guess where he's going to play is going to waste our time, so we'll prepare for both, although we haven't seen him play at fullback for a while.”
Bellamy said he was more concerned about his own team than who or what North Queensland would bring.
After last week's disappointing loss to Wests Tigers, he said the Storm needed to go back to basics to rediscover their NRL premiership-winning form.
North Queensland is also coming off a last-start loss to Brisbane.
Bellamy said his team was "lazy” against the Tigers, with missed tackles and a high error-count contributing to the shock loss.
"We haven't been doing the basics well and we haven't been doing them so well at training either,” he said.
"It was a lazy performance and not working hard enough with doing the basic things well, so it's a bit more consistency that we're looking for.”
Promoted to the starting line-up, giant prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona is one player who has been consistent.
His battle with former Storm enforcer Jordan McLean should be fierce.
"We're talking about the team's consistency being not so great, well, Nelson's about 180 degrees from that at the moment,” Bellamy said.
"He's probably been our most consistent player and he's playing great footy.
"And Jordan had about 10 runs in 15 minutes there last week so he's obviously been playing well for them and we know what a quality player he is.”