Storm brewing over first-round

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy wants the NRL to nominate the team receiving a first-round bye immediately proceeding the end of the previous season.

Bellamy, now in his second year of first grade coaching, says he and the club are annoyed the Storm has been given the first week off because the club had insufficient time to organise an appropriate trial match in order to cover the loss of a premiership match that weekend.

As well as this, the Victorian club are ruing a missed opportunity for a home match on a weekend free of AFL. The slap and tickle season doesn't kick off until March 26 - two weeks after the NRL season starts.

Bellamy says his team will go into its first game against Newcastle underdone as a result of the bye.