Bellamy praises 100-gamer Felise Kaufusi as Storm prepare for Roosters


“Fuze came to us in 2013 and he was basically a ruck [middle] player,” Bellamy said.

“After about two years we put him in that edge role and it’s proven to be really good for us and really good for him.

“It was my call. At the time we lost Kevie Proctor and we needed a replacement for him. Fuze has some good things in his game, he’s quite powerful and smart about the game.

“We didn’t have a clearer option but I thought this could work really well for us. His athlete ability, he’s big, mobile and quite smart with his running lines.”

The Storm will face off with club legend Cooper Cronk once again on Friday and he helped Kaufusi become a scoring threat close to the try line while playing alongside him.

“Playing next to Cooper Cronk at that time was a good education for him too, he caught on pretty quickly and we’ve seen he played for Queensland and Australia since then,” Bellamy said.

“He’s done a great job for us.”

The Storm’s six State of Origin players trained well on Thursday after having some time off following game two of the series last Sunday.

The Storm also had new signing Solomone Kata meet them in Adelaide where he trained with the side, he’s not in the selection squad for this game.

Bellamy also joined his assistant coach Jason Ryles in speaking up for Roosters star Latrell Mitchell who has come under some fierce criticism after not playing well in game one of state of origin which saw him left out of the New South Wales side for game two.

Mitchell will be in uniform for the Roosters on Friday and he kicked the game-winning field goal against the Storm at AAMI Park earlier this season.

“I don’t think he’s deserved the amount of criticism he got,” Bellamy said.

“Not so long ago he basically won the game for them in Melbourne. Some of the things he done that night was incredible.

“I’m sure he would put up his hand to say it wasn’t his best game in origin but he’s a wonderful young player and we need to encourage him more than kicking him in the head while he’s down.

“He’s one of the players people want to come along to watch. We are all open to criticism but after that leave him alone.”

Bellamy also again stated he didn’t expected Cameron Smith to make a shock return to Queensland’s side for game three of origin on July 10.

“He’d have an impact on any game,” Bellamy replied when asked if Smith would make a difference to Queensland.

The Storm finalised their roster on Thursday promoting Cooper Johns to their top-30 players and signing Fijian outside back Isaac Lumelume from Cronulla who will join the team immediately.

Central Capras forward Aaron Pene and Sunshine Coast forward Darryn Schonig also signed development contracts with the club. Both play in the Queensland Cup.

The Storm face the Roosters at Adelaide Oval on Friday at 7.55pm.

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