Bellamy cool with Cronk defection
MELBOURNE Storm coach Craig Bellamy says he understands Cooper Cronk’s defection to NRL rivals the Sydney Roosters, even if he doesn’t like it.
Speaking for the first time since Cronk said he would play on at the Roosters, Bellamy said he accepted the star playmaker’s decision.
“I don’t particularly like him playing for another team, but at the end of the day it’s his decision on what is best for him and what he wants to do,” Bellamy said.
“He’ll always have my support and the club’s support in whatever he wants to do.
“He has been a wonderful player and a wonderful person at our club. I would have preferred that he didn’t [play on], but I can understand why he has, as you’re a long time retired. He obviously wanted to play on and that’s how it has worked out.”
Storm will meet English Super League champions Leeds Rhinos in the World Club Challenge at AAMI Park on February 16.
Storm’s Australian World Cup representatives will have only a few weeks’ preparation but Bellamy still expects to field a strong side.
They will also miss departed stars Jordan McLean (Cowboys) and Tohu Harris (Warriors) as well as Cronk.
Bellamy said he expected Storm’s representative stars to play in the clash.
“At this stage in their careers they love playing in big games and this is a really big game,” he said.