Sport Rugby League It was time I made a stand, says Craig Bellamy

It was time I made a stand, says Craig Bellamy

Craig Bellamy
Bellamy: cards close to chest. Photo: Getty Photo: Getty
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Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has no regrets over post-match criticism of NRL referee Ashley Klein, revealing he didn’t air all of his concerns.

Bellamy made it clear on Wednesday there was no sense of schadenfreude after Klein was demoted to NSW Cup, having made a handful of controversial decisions in Storm’s 32-30 loss to Newcastle.

After the defeat, Bellamy said Klein “obviously doesn’t like the way we play our footy” and that every time he officiates Storm they “are on the wrong end of the penalty count”.

The club wrote to the NRL on Monday, seeking clarification and raising concerns about a number of issues related to the refereeing of the match.

Bellamy expected to discuss those issues with NRL referees boss Tony Archer on Wednesday afternoon.

The master coach said he wanted to move on from the incident, highlighting concerns over complacency and defence while discussing Saturday’s must-win clash with last-placed Cronulla.

But Bellamy was at his most stark when the topic of Klein came up at Wednesday’s press conference.

“There were a couple of other issues in that game on the weekend which haven’t been made public,” Bellamy said.

“…It was time that I actually said something, I suppose publicly.”

Bellamy hinted at the club’s existing discontent over Klein.

“It was really important I said it after the game. Because I believed it was true and at some stage I’ve got to stand up for my players and for the club,” he said.

“Any complaints and opinions that we’ve got, we put them in writing and send them to the NRL.

“Or we talk to the NRL without everybody in the whole world knowing about it.

“I said something publicly on Saturday night. I don’t regret that … but I’ve said my piece and there’s no need to go on with it.”

Bellamy will not seek out a meeting with Klein, should the referee be recalled and put in charge of a Melbourne game.

“Hopefully he gets something out of this … it’s just a matter of both of us getting on with our jobs,” he said.

“I don’t want to crucify anyone … I don’t get any enjoyment out of someone getting dropped.

“The NRL have come out and made a decision, so they’re obviously thinking along the same lines as me.”