AAP Rugby

Storm won’t let Sharks under skin: Bellamy

By AAP Newswire

Melbourne are putting the blinkers on for their NRL clash with Cronulla at AAMI Park on Sunday, determined to keep their cool in the face of any agitation from the Sharks.

The two teams have developed a bitter rivalry in recent years, with the Sharks winning four of their last six meetings including the 2016 grand final.

In their round four clash at Southern Cross Group Stadium in March, the game finished in a melee and Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith was sin-binned for back-chat for the first time in his long career.

Cronulla also managed to keep a frustrated Storm outfit tryless before prevailing.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy said his team were on guard for the Sharks, who have their top four finals hopes hanging on the result.

"Usually something happens in our games against Cronulla that stands out a little bit," Bellamy said.

"I'd imagine it's going to be the same tomorrow and you know it's going to be a pretty competitive game of footy.

"I'd like to think that at the forefront of our minds is what we need to do and that's what we're focused on.

"If some other things happen, we've got in mind what we need to do."

Bellamy also felt there was plenty to focus on following their 30-20 loss to South Sydney last round, which meant they surrendered top spot on the NRL ladder.

He wanted to see an improved completion rate and better game management.

"Our completions were really poor in the second half and we managed the game really poorly - even when we had a good set we put a really poor kick on the end of it so we need to get that part right.

"We lost that game in the first 20 minutes of the second half and how we managed the game during that part was really poor and you can't do that against good teams."

Bellamy conceded the Rabbitohs pack got the better of his big boys and he wanted to see more action from them going up against the likes of Andrew Fifita, Matt Prior, Paul Gallen and Aaron Woods.

"The Burgess boys made a lot of metres and the Sharks have got some big forwards as well so we will have to be a lot better at that," he said.