The mind games have begun in the lead up to the NRL finals with Parramatta and Melbourne taking pot shots at each other ahead of the two teams’ qualifying final next weekend.
Parramatta coach Brad Arthur hinted at the Storm’s wrestling tactics after his side’s win over Souths on Friday night saying “if we’re allowed to play a bit of football, we might be a chance”.
“(The Storm) are the best at (the wrestle). They tackle well, they work together well, they’ve got great systems.”
“They’re not going to beat themselves so we’ve got to be at our best,” Arthur said.
Following Arthur’s not-so-subtle jab, Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy hit back at the fourth placed Eels following the Storm’s 32-6 final round demolition of Canberra.
Bellamy said Arthur should look in his “own backyard” before pointing the finger at Melbourne.
“Brad made the point if they’re allowed to come down and play their footy, well at the end of the day they can play any footy they like when they come down – that’s their decision.
“If he was having a go at us about defence and smothering whatever he likes to call it then I’ll be talking to the referees boss about how they (Parramatta) just lay all over opposition attack inside their 20 metre zone. They just go to sleep there sometimes,” Bellamy said.
“He wants to fire a few shots off at us well we’ll be firing a few shots back.
“I’m not quite sure how they get away with some of it so again he should be looking at his own backyard before he looks at us.”
Bellamy said he’d heard it all before, with North Queensland coach Paul Green making the same complaint before their finals clash in 2016.
“It’s amazing – every year it happens, semi-final time a coach comes out – it’s the same song just a different singer,” Bellamy said.