Details emerge about Craig Bellamy absence after Melbourne Storm loss

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Stephen Kearney, pictured here after replacing Craig Bellamy in the Melbourne Storm's post-match press conference.
Stephen Kearney replaced Craig Bellamy in the Melbourne Storm's post-match press conference. Image: NRL/Getty

Melbourne Storm assistant coach Stephen Kearney has moved to explain Craig Bellamy's absence from the post-game press conference on Friday night, saying the coach had to go home after suffering a migraine.

The veteran coach was not in attendance for the press conference after Melbourne's 18-14 loss to the Sydney Roosters, with Kearney taking his place to speak to reporters.

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The club said they cleared Bellamy's absence with the NRL and he went home almost immediately after full-time.

Coaches and players can be fined by the league if they skip media commitments without an excuse, but the Storm don't think there will be any repercussions.

Kearney said Bellamy was suffering from a migraine throughout the match and had to go home straight after the final whistle.

"(Bellamy) coached out the game, he left pretty much after the game," Kearney said.

"He's had to go home, he's got a bad headache, a migraine you might call it, but he should be OK."

Kearney gave a laugh when Fox League reporter Lara Pitt said: "It was a pretty intense game. I imagine that might have contributed (to the migraine)."

"Yeah, no doubt," Kearney replied.

Melbourne Storm go down in thriller against Roosters

The Storm charged home against the Roosters after trailing 14-0 early, but James Tedesco's heroic defensive effort on Kenny Bromwich prevented Melbourne from pinching the lead in the dying stages.

"The Roosters got away to a really good start and we didn't help ourselves there," Kearney said.

"We had our opportunities, we probably weren't quite good enough and I thought the Roosters did a really good job."

It leaves next Thursday night's clash with Parramatta as a must-win for the Storm to finish off the regular season.

If Melbourne defeat the Eels they will secure an extraordinary eighth-straight top-four finish, but will drop into a sudden-death first week final should they lose.

Craig Bellamy, pictured here following Melbourne's loss to the Sydney Roosters.
Craig Bellamy looks on following Melbourne's loss to the Sydney Roosters. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

"It's going to be a big challenge for us, but it's just about getting back to playing our footy and trying to set ourselves up for finals," Storm captain Bromwich said.

"We just need to make sure we're confident in what we're doing and getting a little bit of momentum heading into that first (finals) game.

"It's about getting our starts right and working on that discipline and completion."

Meanwhile, the Roosters will host South Sydney in a blockbuster re-opening of Allianz Stadium on Friday night.

It was an explosive encounter in front of 25,308 fans at AAMI Park, the Roosters ensured they will be playing in the finals for the sixth-straight season.

"It's not always pretty but you've got to be desperate and you have to come up with try savers to win big games and none more critical than that," Roosters coach Trent Robinson said.

"We had to play in a different way tonight but proud of the way the guys went about it."

with AAP

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