Blair ready to face former NRL side
June 6, 2012 - 5:24PM
Former Melbourne backrower Adam Blair says the Wests Tigers are bracing for a tough test from Craig Bellamy’s re-shuffled Storm as they chase their first NRL win in Victoria.
Tigers prized recruit Blair, much like his team, have taken a while to find their rhythm in 2012.
But after a slow start the early premiership favourites are fourth on the ladder and chasing seven straight wins when they face competition leaders Melbourne at AAMI Park on Friday night.
Tim Sheens’ men lost their first five games this year and the four-time premiership winning coach was in the firing line, and so was the man on a reported $500,000 a year - Blair.
The New Zealand international admits he didn’t make the best start to his career at Concord.
“It was tough at the start of the season but we just seem to be working together as a team and doing the little things for each other,” Blair said.
“I’m slowly getting better I think. It was a slow start trying to get used to the style of play … I feel like I’m playing better as the rounds move on. I’m trying to find some consistency with how I’m playing.”
Bellamy will celebrate his 250th game in charge of Melbourne, a club Blair represented 121 times between 2006 and 2011.
The Storm are without their three Queensland State of Origin stars Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith but Blair knows better than most Bellamy still expects nothing but the best from his squad.
“He’s a great coach and he’s done a lot of great things and the boys will want to put in a good performance for him,” Blair said.
“They train really hard down there and whoever they put in their positions they always seem to step up. They’ve done it in the past and I’m sure those guys will be up for a big one.”
Bookmakers have the Tigers as overwhelming favourites against the understrength Melbourne but Sheens isn’t buying into that.
“Although we’ve bettered our position on the ladder, we only have to go back a few weeks to remember we had five losses in a row,” Sheens said.
“It’s like snakes and ladders, you can go up on the right ladder and you can go down if you end up on the snake.”