Cronk backs Bellamy on harsh draw
COOPER Cronk says the Melbourne Storm have an unfair draw, agreeing with his coach Craig Bellamy’s rant against their harsh schedule.
The Storm play the Broncos on Thursday night at Suncorp Stadium, their third game in 10 days. To make matters worse, the Storm’s tough schedule comes on the eve of the finals.
But while Cronk backed Bellamy’s passionate outburst against the schedule, the star halfback also felt the hard draw could best prepare the Storm for the finals.
The Storm lost to Newcastle last Monday, defeated the third-placed Cowboys 14-6 in wet conditions on Saturday night and now face the secondplaced Broncos.
Melbourne also had a fiveday turnaround at the end of the Origin series when they lost to the Warriors on Sunday, July 12 and then defeated the Panthers the following Friday.
They also had five-day turnarounds between Rounds 12 and 13, and from Round 1 to 2.
Bellamy labelled the schedule a “joke” and said it had created an uneven competition.
“I back Craig in with his thoughts on five-day turnarounds and the schedule,” Cronk said. “It is a talking point. As a player, I will do what is required.
“(Playing) two top-four teams in the last week of the competition ... that will tell us where we are at.”
The Storm will likely finish fifth or sixth on the ladder, giving them a week one, suddendeath home final.