WAIT AND SEE: Storm captain Cameron Smith might have to delay his 350th NRL game until his pectoral muscle injury has healed properly.
WAIT AND SEE: Storm captain Cameron Smith might have to delay his 350th NRL game until his pectoral muscle injury has healed properly. DAN PELED

Bellamy won't risk Smith for sake of 350th match

MELBOURNE Storm coach Craig Bellamy is not prepared to risk Cameron Smith for the sake of him playing game No.350 at AAMI Park.

Smith (pectoral) must undergo a rigorous fitness test on Saturday to get the green light for Sunday's blockbuster against Manly.

"It's obviously a big occasion for a couple of reasons, but we don't want to take any chances with him at all, so basically it will be up to the medical staff tomorrow [Saturday]," Bellamy said.

"I'd like to think on what he's got through this week and how he has improved ... then he's a really good chance of playing."

Bellamy said uncertainty around Smith's fitness - coupled with Billy Slater (concussion) being ruled out - was no excuse, with finals on the horizon.

"We're getting down to the fine end of the year now so we need to be focused each and every week, start building a little bit of momentum," Bellamy said.

"The Origin period is over now and we need to start building some momentum and getting some really good habits about what we do on the field."

Bellamy spoke to media before entering the club's 2007 grand final reunion and annual "old boys" function.

"It was the first winning one I was involved with here, so it's pretty special to me and pretty special to a lot of the players. It's great to see these guys come back," Bellamy said.

The NRL ultimately stripped Storm of the 2007 and 2009 titles after serious salary cap breaches were uncovered in 2010.

Despite the controversy, Bellamy said the memories of the grand final victory remained.

"At the end of the day we won a grand final there so they can say what they like," he said.

Ladder leader Storm faces stiff opposition in Manly, who are gunning for a top-four spot.

But the game within the game could be the battle between five-eighths Cameron Munster and Blake Green, who spent two seasons in Melbourne before moving north.

"It helps to know anyone's game inside out. Knowing it and stopping it's another thing," Bellamy said.

"There will be a couple things we'll be looking at trying to do with Greeny, like as far as what his strengths are and how we might be able to keep him in check.

"We knew what a good player he was here. I think he was underrated here to be quite honest, certainly not underrated by the Storm but underrated by other people in the game.

"What he's done at Manly this year everyone knows now how good a player he is ... now he's starting to get the accolades that he deserves and he's playing really well."

News Corp Australia


Councillors organise special lunch to farewell staff

premium_icon Councillors organise special lunch to farewell staff

Monday's meeting is likely to be the last time they meet

Hungry roos are on the hop

premium_icon Hungry roos are on the hop

Jump in visitors at One Mile

Brotherly 'love tap' clash ends in court

premium_icon Brotherly 'love tap' clash ends in court

He reached over his mother and punched his brother in the face

Local Partners