Storm coach Craig Bellamy's epic blow-up over contentious late call

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured here, Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy goes off after a contentious call against Penrith.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy was absolutely livid after a controversial late call went against the Storm. Pic: Fox Sports

Craig Bellamy is known for some of the best coach's box blow-ups in the NRL and the Storm mentor delivered one for the ages during Thursday night's two-point loss to Penrith.

Melbourne went down 12-10 in a thrilling grand final rematch against the Panthers that will undoubtedly go down as one of the best games of the season.

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It took one of the great try-saving tackles from Viliame Kikau - after the siren - to deny Justin Olam what appeared to be the match-winning try for the Storm.

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However, it was an incident before that last-ditch play that had commentators questioning officials and Bellamy seeing red in the coach's box.

The Storm opted for a short kick restart after Kurt Capewell's try in the final two minutes helped Penrith take a two-point lead.

Melbourne's kick was contested by a number of players, with Penrith's Stephen Crichton appearing to knock the ball into a teammate in an offside position.

Video referee Ashley Klein ruled that it was a Storm player and not Crichton who had touched the ball, denying the visitors a shot at goal that could have levelled the scores and taken the game to golden point.

Cameras panned to an irate Bellamy in the Melbourne coaching box, who was clearly fuming that his side didn't get the decision.

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However, the Storm coach remained diplomatic when discussing the controversial call in the wash-up of his side's heartbreaking loss.

“It was a tough game how we lost it,” Bellamy said.

“It was disappointing, frustrating there are a lot of words you could use.”

Bellamy refused to blame officials for the incident that could have seen them level the match at the death.

“I thought there was a chance of it being offside,” Bellamy said.

“But apparently it must have come off them and then into us. I didn’t see it too many times. I only saw it once.

“But at the end of the day that was the call and not much you can do about it now.”

Penrith's thrilling win came five months to the day after the grand final, where their bid to reel in a 26-0 deficit fell one try short.

"I don't know how to describe that. Sometimes the pain of losing drives you to do things you wouldn't normally do," coach Ivan Cleary said.

"Naturally you are going to be motivated for this game.

"It's hard to explain that last minute ... the last play of the game summed up (their courage)."

Penrith counting cost of gutsy win

But it came at a cost for Penrith, their spine now further weakened with a suspected broken hand to Dylan Edwards.

With Apisai Koroisau out with a broken wrist and Nathan Cleary missing on Thursday through concussion, Edwards did not return after halftime.

Edwards had been the hosts' best in the first half, before his injury left Tyrone May filling in and Penrith facing a shortage in their backline for next week.

Seen here, Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards gets tackled against the Storm on Thursday night.
Dylan Edwards went off injured during Penrith's two-point win over the Storm on Thursday night. Pic: Getty

Kikau's try-saving play after the siren ended a hectic final 12 minutes, where the game swung back and forth in the after scores had been locked at 6-6 for the majority of the second half.

First half tries to Melbourne's Brandon Smith and Panthers flyer Charlie Staines had the premiership heavyweights locked in a tense stalemate.

Josh Addo-Carr first looked as if he had scored the match-winner for Melbourne when he went over from a scrum play, putting the Storm up 10-6.

Penrith then took the lead with two minutes to play when Paul Momirovksi flicked a ball to Charlie Staines, who stepped and found Kurt Capewell back inside him.

Melbourne regathered the ball after a Penrith error from the kick-off, but Kikau's heroics after the siren saved the day for the Panthers.

with AAP

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