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Craig Bellamy confirms Storm will dip into the player market after being hit by THREE major injuries

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Craig Bellamy hails inury-stricken Storm win over Tigers as the bravest he’s EVER seen – as Melbourne face losing Welch and Jennings for season with Smith suffering suspected broken hand

  • Craig Bellamy has confirmed Melbourne Storm will dip into the player market
  • The Premiership hopefuls suffered injuries to three key players on Saturday 
  • Reports suggest that the Storm are monitoring Dragons star Tariq Sims
  • Bellamy admitted that injuries to Welch, Smith and Jennings ‘kills us’ 

Craig Bellamy confirmed that Melbourne Storm are likely to explore the player market after his side were hit by an injury crisis in their victory over Wests Tigers on Saturday night.

The Premiership contenders dug in to overturn a first half deficit to defeat their rivals and protect Bellamy’s perfect Round 1 record, having not tasted defeat on the opening day with the Storm.

However, it was a dismal night for Bellamy after three key names suffered major injuries to give the decorated coach a serious headache.

Craig Bellamy has confirmed that Melbourne will dip into the market after a nightmare evening

Craig Bellamy has confirmed that Melbourne will dip into the market after a nightmare evening

Prop and co-captain Christian Welch’s season is feared to be over after he sustained a suspected ruptured Achilles late in the game, while George Jennings could be done for the year with a suspected ruptured ACL and Brandon Smith is likely to miss a few weeks with a suspected broken hand.

Bellamy was full of praise for his team’s resilience in the face of losing such big names.

‘To be quite honest, I can’t remember an effort as brave as that. I’m really, really proud of them,’ he said. 

The Storm coach revealed the club will look to dip into the player market to replace Welch, and NRL.com.au reports that Dragons forward Tariq Sims is a possible option.

Sims has been on Melbourne’s radar for some time, with the club weighing up their options for next season when Jesse and Kenny Bromwich, Felise Kaufusi and Smith leave.

Asked if the Dragons star was a player being monitored, Bellamy said: ‘Not at the moment, no.

Co-captain Christian Welch was one of three stars to suffer major injuries against the Tigers

Co-captain Christian Welch was one of three stars to suffer major injuries against the Tigers

Smith holds his head in his hand after coming off

The hooker's injury is a blow to  the Premiership hopefuls

Brandon Smith was an early withdrawal and was pictured wearing an arm sling on the bench 

‘We will have a bit of interest in a few players. We have lost players and Tui is suspended. We are not sure when he is going to be coming back.

‘We are not scraping the bottom of the barrel but we are getting towards it. I was really confident tonight in Alec being able to put the effort in … but I am not quite sure we have got any more Alec’s left.

‘We are going to have to pull two or three players into the squad if the two tonight are as serious as our medical team think they are. We are going to have to find some extra players from somewhere.’ 

Bellamy admitted that despite grabbing a result against Michael Maguire’s side, there was a sombre mood in the sheds after the game, admitting the setbacks ‘kill us’.

Winger George Jennings also hobbled off before half time with a suspected ACL injury

Winger George Jennings also hobbled off before half time with a suspected ACL injury 

Storm have been linked with Tariq Sims but Bellamy said that the club are not monitoring him

Storm have been linked with Tariq Sims but Bellamy said that the club are not monitoring him

‘Obviously it is really disappointing for George, and certainly Christian,’ he added. ‘He has had a few tough times in our game and he doesn’t deserve that so we will back him all the way to get back.

‘You feel so proud and we should be so happy but you feel so down for the two guys that got those serious injuries.

‘At the moment they are pretty sure that Christian has torn his Achilles and George has done his ACL. It looks like Brandon has a broken bone in his hand. His is obviously less severe … but the other two will miss basically the season.

‘It kills us. Obviously you don’t know what to say to them. More so Christian, he has missed two full years with ACLs so it is really tough for him.

‘It was near the end of the game, there was only about three minutes to go and there was no-one around him. It just went.’ 

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