Bellamy impressed by Brisbane's NRL rise

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While Craig Bellamy attributes the Broncos' NRL ladder surge to their skipper Adam Reynolds, he says they have proven they are far from a one-trick pony.

Bellamy's Storm (10-3) will host Brisbane (9-4) at AAMI Park on Friday night expecting a far different match to the last time they met in Melbourne, given both teams are in the top four this time.

In that 2021 clash the Storm thumped the Broncos 40-6 with Ryan Papenhuyzen bagging four tries and five goals.

The superstar fullback will be absent after finally overcoming knee and hamstring injuries but contracting COVID-19 on Wednesday.

"He was on the edge (of playing) and it probably would have come down to him," Bellamy said following their captain's run.

"He did most of last week's training with us with the intention of being available.

"He's been out for six weeks and then gets COVID two days before he's supposed to play but that's how it goes - he's disappointed and we're disappointed."

Halfback Reynolds, who joined Brisbane from Souths this season, will also be missing with a rib injury in a blow to their chances of banking an eighth straight win.

"He's obviously a pretty important player for them without a doubt and he's had a lot to do with their improvement this year," Bellamy said of Reynolds.

"Having said that, I think a lot of his influence has probably been off the field as well.

"They'll obviously miss him and would rather have him out there ... but they've had some really good performances without him and we'll take it that's going to happen again."

Brisbane coach Kevin Walters said on Thursday that Reynolds might also miss their round 16 clash with North Queensland.

However, Origin duo Payne Haas and Kotoni Staggs had both overcome shoulder injuries and were certainties to play.

Walters backed Reynolds' replacement Tyrone Roberts to stand up in his place.

"He's been in and around the team which is fortunate," Walters said.

"Tyrone's a very experienced player and he just needs to tackle well, pass the ball well and kick well - if he does that, he's doing his job.

"He's very excited about ripping into the Storm."

Walters was an assistant coach under Bellamy at Melbourne and the mentor could see the obvious improvement in the Broncos this season.

"They doing things lot better this year, especially in defence.That's probably the big thing that's improved," Bellamy said.

"They certainly deserve to be where they're at - they obviously did a lot of hard work in the off-season and in the first 10 or 12 weeks they've done a great job so it's going to be a tough contest."

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