The Courier-Mail

Brisbane’s best bring on Storm warning

- PETER BADEL

STORM coach Craig Bellamy has declared Wayne Bennett’s ladder-leading Broncos the club’s best side since the team which broke Melbourne’s hearts in the 2006 grand final.

Bellamy warned his team that Bennett’s side had the personnel to snap the longest title drought in Brisbane’s history.

Bellamy has vivid memories of the pain the Broncos inflicted on his Melbourne club.

He was on the edge of his first premiershi­p before the Broncos upset the Storm 15-8 in the 2006 decider.

Under Bennett’s predecesso­r Anthony Griffin, Brisbane went close to another title in 2011, only to be beaten in the grand final qualifier.

But with Bennett now back at the helm at Red Hill, Bellamy has seen enough of Brisbane’s resurgence this season to convince him the Broncos can win their seventh premiershi­p.

“I can’t remember who was in their sides in 2011 and 2012 but the results say this is the best Broncos side since 2006,” Bellamy said.

“They have led the competitio­n for a huge part of the journey, they are doing a whole heap of things right, they have been the best Broncos side I’ve seen for a fair while.

“The Roosters got on top of them (12-10 two weeks ago), but (Brisbane) have been ultra consistent. They are in a good spot to go all the way.”

Melbourne have won 19 of their last 22 clashes with Brisbane. The Broncos have not defeated the Storm at Suncorp Stadium since 2009.

But Melbourne have taken the Broncos threat so seriously they set up an Origin-style camp on the Sunshine Coast to prepare for Thursday night’s match.

“There’s a rivalry but it’s based on respect,” Storm playmaker Cooper Cronk said.

 ??  ?? PAINFUL REMINDER: Craig Bellamy remembers 2006.
PAINFUL REMINDER: Craig Bellamy remembers 2006.

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