Craig Bellamy loses it on Friday night.
Craig Bellamy loses it on Friday night.

‘Ecstasy to agony’: Storm coach Craig Bellamy’s wild ride

YOU might think the Melbourne Storm's huge lead at the top of the ladder would help Craig Bellamy calm down in the coaches box.

The Storm's 14-12 win over the Sydney Roosters on Friday night has given the Victorian side a six-point buffer at the top of the competition.

But Bellamy is still riding every moment like it could ruin their season.

Playing the Roosters in Adelaide, the Storm held on to what was the winning lead for the last 16 minutes.

Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen stole the show with arguably the best performance of the night, making a game-high 224m and scoring a try.

Bringing the ball out from his own end with three minutes to go, he made a break down the touchline, before passing to Josh Addo-Carr back on the inside.

Addo-Carr then threw a wild pass that was dived on by Justin Olam to clean up the play as the Storm built their set.

But Bellamy didn't seem to see it that way.

The long-time Storm coach unloaded in the box, blowing up deluxe at the play.

Channel 9 commentator Phil Gould delighted in the vision.

"Where's Bellamy, watch this," Gould said. "There's ecstasy to agony in the space of second."

On Fox Sports, Andy Raymond said: "I'm sitting near the Melbourne bench and even the players are having a laugh at Craig Bellamy on the big screen."

Bellamy has high standards as his side well knows.

Earlier in the season, the Storm lost one of its two games this season - a 20-18 loss to the Sharks - and Bellamy was brutal.

"That's one thing I think we've been pretty strong at over the past couple of years, but after the last couple of weeks I'm starting to doubt if this group has got that," Bellamy said.

"And we better find that or I'll be finding some new players."

The following week, the Storm beat the Eels 64-10 in the Magic Round.

Since then, they are on a six-game winning streak and have been held within 20 points of their opponents just twice.

Both teams scored two tries first half tries apiece on Friday night but it was Cameron Smith's boot that proved the difference.

The Storm captain delivered  three goals from as many attempts, while Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell nailed two of his three shots.

The axed NSW State of Origin star almost set up what would've been the game-winner for Brett Morris, but he was denied by four cover defenders.

Roosters captain Boyd Cordner also came close to stealing the game at the death but failed to cleanly take a Cooper Cronk bomb, which had been allowed to bounce by the Storm.

All eyes were on Mitchell, who was making his first appearance since being controversially dropped after Origin I.

Gould hit out at Mitchell playing in the halves.

"Maybe in a few years' time, maybe when he's got some experience and he's got some other things out of his game he can come and play five-eighth," he said.

"He's just not a five-eighth at the moment.

"His real strength is at left centre, flying on to the ball, getting the ball to him early and he's got to be content to do that. He can be a great centre in that position.

"If someone is convincing him he can be a five-eighth or a fullback, they're seven or eight years too early."

Latrell Mitchell and Ryan Papenhuyzen both worked hard for their teams.
Latrell Mitchell and Ryan Papenhuyzen both worked hard for their teams.

The last team to hold a six-point lead after 15 rounds was the Storm in 2012, and they went on to claim the premiership against Canterbury.

Eight changes were made to the Roosters' line-up before kick-off, but they started strongly and took an early lead through a penalty goal.

Not even a long-range try to Papenhuyzen in the 17th minute halted their momentum, with Daniel Tupou and Joseph Manu crossing for a two-try lead.

However, the Storm ensured scores were locked at 12-12 at the break when Brodie Croft pounced on his own grubber moments before halftime.

Little separated the two sides thereafter, with the Roosters defending their line stoutly despite giving up cheap possession in their own territory.

It wasn't until Smith drew a penalty in front of the sticks in the 64th minute that the deadlock was broken with the ensuing goal.

Melbourne thought they had kicked away when Justin Olam crossed soon after, only to be denied by a rare ruling by the officials.

A clever Cameron Munster chip was ruled to have been deliberately tapped over the head of Matt Ikuvalu by Josh Addo-Carr.

- with AAP

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News Corp Australia


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