Bellamy milestone jitters won't stop dominance
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Stat Attack: Bellamy milestone jitters won’t stop dominance
Author Alicia Newton Timestamp Fri 6 Apr 2018, 03:57 PM
Craig Bellamy will add another milestone to his name on Saturday afternoon when he coaches his 400th Telstra Premiership fixture but history shows the premiership-winning mentor struggles in milestone matches.
According to NRL.com stats, it has been lean pickings for the 58-year-old in the past, with Melbourne losing in his 50th, 100th, 150th, 200th and 250th games.
The drought finally broke in Bellamy’s 300th fixture with a 27-14 victory against South Sydney in 2014.
‘‘When you think about it I suppose it’s a long time to be the coach of one footy team, but at the end of the day it’s not about me and how many games I’ve coached or haven’t coached, it’s about the team performing to our capabilities,’’ Bellamy said.
‘‘It’s a nice milestone to celebrate but it’s about what happens on the field at the end of the day, not what happens up in the box.’’
Bellamy was asked how he had changed over his 400 games at the helm.
‘‘People tell me a bit more mellow than I used to be, and I think I probably am,’’ he said.
‘‘I know some people might find that hard to believe when they see some of those expressions up in the box but I think I certainly have calmed down a bit. I think that just naturally happens as you get more experience as a coach and older as a person.’’
Despite the Storm’s shaky record in personal games for their coach, Bellamy’s winning-percentage success rate cannot be matched.
So far he has coached just over half the number of games as former mentor Wayne Bennett (792 games) since he started out in 2003, but he boasts the best return in rugby league history with a 67.9% winning record across his 16-year career.
Former Eastern Suburbs and Manly coach Bob Fulton (64.4%) rates second behind Bellamy, with the late Jack Gibson (62.2%) in at third.
‘‘Our main motivation will be putting in an improved performance from last week but we are all aware of the milestone Craig has tomorrow,’’ Melbourne captain Cameron Smith said.
‘‘It’s a pretty impressive achievement. We want to make Craig proud of our performances each week and that’s something we didn’t do last week, so we are really keen to get out there and play a style of football that he is proud of.’’
Bennett is on track to reach the 800-game milestone in round 12 against Parramatta at Suncorp Stadium and is another of four coaches in the top 10 who possess a better than 60% success rate.
The next best active coaches with high winning percentages include Trent Robinson (135 games at 61.5%) and Paul Green (113 games at 60.2%), but neither coach has the longevity to compare.