The anti-Storm podcast that tipped Craig Bellamy over the edge

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·Contributor
·3-min read
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Craig Bellamy and Des Hasler, pictured here in their respective coaching roles.
Craig Bellamy and Des Hasler were both infuriated by the podcast. Image: Getty

It was a podcast, sitting in a deep recesses of the internet, that angered Craig Bellamy and infuriated Des Hasler at the same time.

It was a few years after the Sea Eagles' record 40-0 grand final win over Melbourne and fresh off the salary cap scandal when veteran Manly administrator Peter Peters let loose on a rugby league podcast hosted by your columnist and featuring Daily Telegraph league writer Dean Ritchie.

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Shooting from the hip – as is his way – Zorba launched into a long anti-Melbourne rant as we previewed an upcoming Sea Eagles-Storm clash.

We pushed our chairs back from the table as Peters began questioning the Storm's mode of operation on and off the field.

Bellamy had long grown accustomed to outsiders throwing barbs at the Storm's defensive tactics, but he wasn't ready for what came his way.

Zorba questioned Melbourne's culture and wondered aloud if it was all it was cracked up to be in the years after the salary cap bust.

Bellamy was naturally upset and the response was as swift as it was explosive.

Culture is an over-worked word in football clubs but the Storm is one of the few clubs where values and beliefs are non-negotiable.

Just ask any players who had pulled on a Melbourne jersey. Long-time Melbourne football manager Frank Ponissi was first on the phone as the podcast spread through league land, angry his club's integrity was being questioned in such a way.

Hasler was next in queue, demanding the podcast be taken down for fear it would incite Melbourne into a ferocious on-field reaction.

Peter Peters, pictured here at a Manly training session in 2011.
Peter Peters looks on during a Manly training session in 2011. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

His call arrived a few hours too late. The damage had been done. Hasler need not have worried. Manly won a couple of days later and it was not a good time to be around Bellamy.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since that time, but Manly still loom large in the Storm mentor's rear vision mirror.

The 2007 grand final win over the Sea Eagles (later stripped from Melbourne), the 40-0 grand final flogging, the Battle of Brookvale all feature large splashes of maroon and white.

Adding an extra layer is Hasler's winning record (17-15) against Bellamy in head-to-head contests.

A fresh chapter is to be written into the Manly-Melbourne rivalry when they meet in Friday night's qualifying final.

It'd be wrong to assume Bellamy is still chasing pay back after all these years. He just calls it taking care of unfinished business.

Don't forget about this bloke

You may have heard of this bloke?

Twenty-eight years of age, stands around 6ft, goes by the nickname 'Teddy', wins premierships, State of Origin series and Test matches. 

Sound familiar?

It seems James Tedesco needs to be reintroduced to a rugby league world infatuated with Tom Trbojevic.

Turbo's season has been out of this universe. We may not see another year like it for decades.

Tedesco's – the game's premier fullback in the last few years – has been lost amid all the Turbo hype.

We took a look at Tedesco's season stats and they don’t make for bad reading: 20 games played, eight tries, 24 try assists, 136 tackle breaks, 5 line-breaks, 3042 run metres.

If the Roosters go deep into the finals series, it will be on the back of Tedesco reintroducing himself to the rugby league world.

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