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Melbourne team: Langer provides
Storm with some light relief
Langer, who spent three years at the Broncos with former assistant coach Bellamy, spent the day in Melbourne today meeting with the Storm players over lunch as well as attending a training session this afternoon.
Bellamy said the former Queensland State of Origin hero had made the visit south to pass on some advice to Storm halves Matt Orford and Scott Hill while providing some light relief prior to Sunday?s elimination final in Sydney.
?He (Langer) has just come down to lighten things up a bit as he can be a bit of joker,? Bellamy said.
?It gets a bit tense around semi-final time so ?Alf? is here to have a chat with the boys and he?ll do a little bit of work with a couple of our guys at training.
?Alf is a very smart student of our game and I know our halves got a lot out of his advice earlier in the season when he was down here and I?m sure they?ll get some good advice today as well.?
This year?s finals campaign is almost a mirror image of last year?s for the Storm with Melbourne set to face the Bulldogs in the second week of the finals for the second consecutive season.
Last year the Bulldogs easily accounted for the Storm, running away with a 30-0 victory to end Melbourne?s season. But Bellamy believes his side has learnt from last year?s whitewash and will be better equipped to deal with the Bulldogs this weekend.
?I just know we?re a lot better team than we were last year,? Bellamy added.
?What happened 12 months ago doesn?t matter because it?s a whole new team and it?s a whole new situation.?
Bellamy conceded he too had learnt from mistakes made in the build-up to last year?s finals, mistakes he does not wish to make again this season.
?I certainly made a couple of mistakes this time last year before we played the Raiders and leading up to the Bulldogs game, I?ve learnt from them and I won?t be making them again,? Bellamy said.
?Before that first semi-final we were probably a little bit too emotionally pumped up for Canberra and I thought we were really flat the week after against the Bulldogs.
?I certainly don?t want to go making mistakes but we all make mistakes, so long as I don?t make them again. I?m learning and the team?s going to be better for it.?
This week?s Storm side is unchanged from the line-up that easily defeated the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium last Saturday. Bellamy has included Steve Turner and forwards Jeremy Smith and Robert Tanielu to an extended seven-man bench.
Kirk Reynoldson and Glen Turner have not been named, with both players struggling to overcome calf injuries.
MELBOURNE STORM TEAM TO PLAY THE BULLDOGS, SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 19, AT AUSSIE STADIUM (3.45PM):
1. Billy Slater 2. Matt Geyer 3. Steven Bell 4. Ben MacDougall 5. Matt King 6. Scott Hill 7. Matt Orford 8. Robbie Kearns 9. Cameron Smith 10. Rodney Howe 11. David Kidwell 12. Stephen Kearney (c) 13. Dallas Johnson