Melbourne won't be sending NSW coach Brad Fittler a thank-you note anytime soon, fearing they could wear Latrell Mitchell's Origin snub when they face the Sydney Roosters on Friday night.
The NRL heavyweights meet in Adelaide with the Storm desperate to break the Roosters' recent dominance, including last year's crushing grand-final defeat.
Storm assistant coach Jason Ryles said they were expecting Mitchell, who was dumped by Fittler after a lacklustre Origin I performance, to prove a point.
"Yeah, good timing to play Latrell," Ryles joked on Tuesday morning.
"I think a lot of the criticism levelled towards him is unwarranted as six weeks ago he was the best player in the game.
"He's a handful at the best of times ... having missed out on Origin you'd imagine he'll be looking for a big game so it's going to be a really big challenge for our right side."
While Melbourne sit four points clear of the Roosters and South Sydney, Ryles said they didn't feel like they "deserved" their status as the competition front-runners.
"It's funny looking at the table and seeing our position because it doesn't feel like that," Ryles said.
"I think the Roosters at the moment are certainly the bench-mark team, especially when you look at their team list."
Melbourne will have an unsettled preparation, with their Origin players and senior international representatives only re-joining the side for the first time this week at the airport early Thursday.
They have four Queensland players, including 18th man Christian Welch, looking to bounce back from their 38-6 Origin humiliation but Ryles didn't think there would be any issue.
While injury-free, Bellamy will speak individually to each player to check on their mind-set.
"Having experienced it myself in Origin I know that the first thing you want to do is get back and play footy again," said Ryles, who played eight games for the Blues between 2002 and 2005.
"You want the turnaround to be as short as possible and the Roosters are basically half the guys they played the other day so they will be ready to go."