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Storm serious about Knights NRL challenge

Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy may not know if chicken salt is made from chickens but one thing he knows about is preparing his team to play NRL finals.
Storm serious about Knights NRL challenge
by AAP

By Melissa Woods

MELBOURNE, Aug 15 AAP - Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy may not know if chicken salt is made from chickens but one thing he knows about is preparing his team to play NRL finals.

Bellamy's weekly media press conference was crashed by veteran Storm forward Jason Ryles, who presents a `Ryles Files' segment on the NRL club's website.

"In your humble opinion do you think they really use chickens to make chicken salt?" the big prop asked his coach.

"I wouldn't have a clue Jason, you probably need to ask someone smarter than me," a bemused Bellamy replied.

Even without Ryles' antics the mood was light in the Storm training session after their convincing 14-point win over leading title contenders South Sydney last round.

Bellamy has continued with his plan of rotating players out of training to keep them fresh, while they will go into a mini camp in Nelson Bay after their clash with Newcastle on Sunday at Hunter Stadium.

Not that the coach was taking Knights, who they edged by two points in round 14, lightly.

With the Storm fourth on the ladder, he rated playing the Knights, currently seventh, at home as a tough proposition.

"I think they've got a good side and they're playing really well," Bellamy said.

"There's a lot of talk about their age, but they've got a lot of good experienced players so it's going to be a tough game for us."

Despite holding the Rabbitohs to a solitary try, he pin-pointed Melbourne's defence as the area that needed most work.

He believed they would have to be at their best to contain the likes of explosive backs Akuila Uate, Joey Leilua, Dane Gagai and Darius Boyd.

"They've got some backs that are really hard to handle, big strong guys with good pace," Bellamy said.

"There's a few things in our defence we're not overly happy with so we need to fine-tune it to get it right."

In-form Storm centre Maurice Blair missed the Souths game after landing awkwardly in a tackle the previous week against Canberra.

Bellamy said Blair, who trained with the team, would make the call on whether he would play.

"He's still a little bit sore but he's a lot better than what he was.

"He's been cleared by the medical people so we'll see how he gets through training."




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