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Storm focused on Raiders, not NRL record

Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy says thinking about closing in on the game's greatest winning streak could bring his unbeaten NRL side undone.
Storm focused on Raiders, not NRL record
by AAP

By Melissa Woods

MELBOURNE, May 1 AAP - Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy says thinking about closing in on the game's greatest winning streak could bring his unbeaten NRL side undone.

Melbourne are gunning for their 16th consecutive victory when they host Canberra at AAMI Park on Saturday afternoon.

The longest winning run in top flight rugby league in Australia is 19 matches, held by Eastern Suburbs who dominated the 1975 season from round four to 22.

But Bellamy says with the record still five wins away, it's not a milestone he's considering.

"It would be great to get there but our focus is always on this week," said Bellamy.

"We don't get too far ahead of ourselves and I think if we start talking about it we'd only be putting extra pressure on ourselves.

"We put enough pressure on ourselves to perform and the opposition put pressure on us too so I don't think we need the extra expectation of a winning run that's still a month down the track."

The Storm aren't in entirely unfamiliar territory.

While this streak includes last season's run of wins from round 22 to their grand final triumph, they tasted similar success in 2011.

That season included a then club record of 12 successive victories.

"I don't look back too far and I certainly don't look too far ahead," Bellamy said.

"I just worry about getting our preparation right and executing our game plan."

Bellamy is wary of the Raiders, who have won their past two matches at AAMI Park.

"That doesn't happen to us too often; sides beating us down here two years in a row," he said.

"We did get towelled up last year and we did play really poorly.

"Having said that, the Raiders did play well and they're a good side."

The Storm were buoyed heading into the clash by the re-signing of gun centre Will Chambers.

The 24-year-old announced he had signed a four-year deal to remain with Melbourne, turning his back on lucrative offers for another stint in rugby union.

"It's a group I enjoy being a part of and obviously with the coach (Craig Bellamy) being here for a few more years it made it a lot easier," Chambers said.

"There was interest elsewhere and I did look around but I'm most happiest here and feel really comfortable."


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