Cooper Cronk is presented with the match ball by coach Craig Bellamy after the round 26 match between the Storm and the Raiders at AAMI Park in Melbourne
Cooper Cronk is presented with the match ball by coach Craig Bellamy after the round 26 match between the Storm and the Raiders at AAMI Park in Melbourne JOE CASTRO

Bellamy hits back at Arthur comments

CRAIG Bellamy fired back at Parramatta coach Brad Arthur following his pleas for NRL referees to crack down on wrestling ahead of the finals showdown with Melbourne Storm.

Bellamy warned he too would be speaking with referees boss Tony Archer about the Eels' questionable tactics.

"Brad made the point if they're allowed to come down and play their footy," Bellamy said.

"Well, at the end of the day, they can play any footy they like when they come down, that's their decision, but if he was having a go at us about defence and smothering whatever he likes to call it then I'll be talking to the referees boss this week."

Bellamy said the Eels regularly "lay all over" opposition attack inside their 20 metre zone.

"They just go to sleep there sometimes," he said.

"He (Arthur) wants to fire a few shots off at us well we'll be firing a few shots back, as I said, their players lay on in the play-the-ball inside that 20 metres.

"I'm not quite sure how they get away with some of it but so again he should be looking at his own backyard before he looks at us."

It's common practice for NRL rivals to whinge about Storm, especially in the build up to big games.

North Queensland employed similar tactics last year before the finals.

"It's amazing, like every year it happens, semi-final time a coach comes out, I think I said last year it's the same song just a different singer," Bellamy said.

Arthur put the league on notice on Friday night following the Eels' 22-16 win over South Sydney.

 

Eels coach Brad Arthur
Eels coach Brad Arthur DAN HIMBRECHTS

Following the game, Arthur said the Eels would be a chance against the minor premiers if they were allowed to play their style of game.

Arthur said the Rabbitohs were allowed to slow the play-the-ball and hoped the same didn't happen next week.

"Tonight they laid all over us. Wrestled, the play-the-ball was pretty slow. But they did a good job," Arthur said.

"(The Storm) are the best at (the wrestle). They tackle well, they work together well, they've got great systems."

Storm faces a nervous wait for a ruling on Tohu Harris, who was placed on report for high fend-off.

"That's not my decision but you usually see one of those in nearly every set of six," Bellamy said.

"I didn't get a close look at it but it looked a pretty tough call to me ... he caught him with his forearm but that happens a lot."

News Corp Australia


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