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Storm sore after Manly NRL clash

Melbourne NRL coach Craig Bellamy plans to nurse his battle-weary players through a light week on the track before their second big game in five days when they tackle the Sydney Roosters on Saturday night.
Storm sore after Manly NRL clash
by AAP

By Greg Buckle

MELBOURNE, May 22 AAP - Melbourne NRL coach Craig Bellamy plans to nurse his battle-weary players through a light week on the track before their second big game in five days when they tackle the Sydney Roosters on Saturday night.

Bellamy said Melbourne's 10-10 draw with fourth-placed Manly at AAMI Park on Monday night in extra time had left his side bruised and battered.

"After about 10 or 15 minutes, it was a really tough arm wrestle. It was certainly the toughest game we've played this year," Bellamy told reporters at training on Wednesday.

"It's a short turnaround.

"There'll be some things that we'll have to change a little bit (at training) to what we'd planned to do between the two games.

"We've just got to be aware if you play 10 minutes longer, that really adds to what was a really quick and physical game as well.

"Recovery is a really important thing for us this week.

"We've got a lot of guys there really sore.

"This is our first training session. It's only going to be a light one."

The second-placed Roosters (16 points) are on a five-game winning streak and also boast the best defence in the competition, conceding only 9.4 points per game.

Defending premiers Melbourne are third on 15 points, having started the season with seven straight wins followed by two losses and the Manly draw.

"It was a really good sign for us on Monday night," Bellamy said of Melbourne's draw with Manly following losses to Penrith and Canberra, who are both outside the top eight.

Bellamy said the Storm needed to improve their starts and give an 80-minute performance, although putting on early points against the Roosters will be a big assignment.

"They're building their game on defence so it's going to be a real challenge for us up there," Bellamy said.

"They've got a lot of good players in attack as well.

"We're really up against it with a five-day turnaround."

While the Roosters have an extra two days of rest before Saturday's game, they are backing up from a game in Townsville last weekend.


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