MELBOURNE are only playing football when they are in trouble and defending poorly on both sides of the field, according to their coach Craig Bellamy.
Bellamy has backed captain Cameron Smith’s criticism of the Storm’s attitude in the wake of the streak-ending 24-20 loss to Canberra but also pointed to technical problems.
The Melbourne threequarterline missed a combined 15 tackles at AAMI Park on Saturday
“You don’t mind getting beaten but I just thought we’ve been asking for that result for a few weeks.” Bellamy says.
“Our last couple of games, particularly at home, we’ve only started playing with a bit of enthusiasm, determination and commitment when we’ve got behind.
“That’s been a bit of a trend … we ran out of luck.
“We’ve got to make sure we get some 80 minute performances and not just start playing when we’re in trouble.”
Problem two: giving away cheap penalties. “We had Canberra down on their tryline three times in the first half and gave away a cheap penalty, just for not being back the 10 or going too early,” he said.
“That’s not what we do. We let them off the hook, we didn’t build any pressure.”
Problem three: defence. “That’s one thing. Some of their tries out wide … I don’t know whether soft’s the right word but they were too easy.
“We certainly weren’t working together, on the left edge in the first half and the right edge in the second.
“Having said that, it’s not an easy position to defend in – the centres and the wing. You’ve always got decisions to make. The big guys in the middle, it’s easier, they’ve got to tackle someone running straight at them.
“When you make decisions you’ve got to make them together and we certainly didn’t do that so it’s something we’ll be working on.’
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK