Bellamy calls out Roosters for “condescending” Barcelona comparision


“They were the team last year that won the competition and they won it easy in the end,” Bellamy said.

“We all know who the best team was last season. This week there has been a few of their players who have come out and pumped out tires up. I think we were compared to Barcelona by Luke Keary.

“So obviously they have sat down earlier in the week and worked out between themselves that ‘we will pump their tires up them come out and blow them away with shotguns on Friday night’.

“We’ve all found it a little bit condescending to be quite honest.

“Everyone knows what a great team they are. You have Keary playing the best football of his career and James Tedesco is almost the best player in the game and with their forwards, their outside backs. Us as a team, we know how big of an assignment this is.”

The Storm face a little bit of uncertainty in their outside backs with centre Curtis Scott needing to prove his fitness after missing last year’s game.

Scott was named in the 23-man squad but not in the side with young centre Marion Seve listed to start. If Scott is fit he would likely take his place and Seve would move to the bench.

Craig Bellamy believes the Sharks are being ‘condescending’ in their praise of StormCredit:AAP

The Roosters are stacked in their outside backs with Latrell Mitchell and Daniel Tupou leading the way so the Storm won’t play Scott unless he is completely ready.

“He’s had a couple of concerns as he was ill last week and had a couple of other slight injury problems,” Bellamy said.

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“It was a five-day turnaround and a long trip to Townsville so we thought it was better to leave him out; Seve has had a couple of really good weeks so it wasn’t that hard of a decision to make.”

While there are many storylines to the game, Bellamy quashed any suggestion Storm great Cooper Cronk would receive anything but a hero’s welcome for his first game back at AAMI Park.

Cronk moved to the Roosters last year so he could join wife Tara Rushton in Sydney and was a cornerstone of their premiership win.

Bellamy did raise the fact supporters booed Billy Slater during last year’s grand final despite it being his last game.

“Our supporters were disappointed with what happened to Billy in last year’s grand final, that was wrong, but they won’t do that to Cooper,” Bellamy said.

“He was a wonderful player here for a long, long time and a wonderful person for our club as well.

“I’m sure he will receive a warm reception and I’ll be very disappointed if he doesn’t.”

The Storm face the Roosters at AAMI Park on Friday at 7.55pm.

Roy Ward is a Sports writer for The Age.

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