Bellamy vs Maguire to rival Friday’s family feud

There’s a sleeper of this weekend’s NRL Finals extravaganza. It’s an explosive action/drama dwarfed by the shadow of a ratings beast and secreted in the dusty limitations of the 5.45pm graveyard shift on Saturday.

Everybody is talking about Friday night’s next instalment of apprentice v master in “UnderDessie”, but how about some spotlight action for the comparably tangy “UnderBellyache”, the subplot to the blockbusting Melbourne v Souths clash?

If it weren’t for Friday’s third 2012 episode of the supremely popular friend-versus-foe soap, this mouth-watering clash would easily have the top billing in the hot slot. Having it fall on the same weekend is like trying to re-launch E-Street at the time of a Home and Away wedding / Irene homicide double.

Bellamy. The black belt.

It’s a shame because this skirmish of old lineage between Souths coach Michael Maguire and the Storm’s Craig Bellamy is nearly as good.

Their coaches box history began with a youthful Maguire looking for a work opportunity in 2004.

He was handed the chance by Bellamy to continue his coaching development with a gig at the Storm where he ably assisted in the club’s 2 now-bogus premierships in 2007 & 2009, before deserting the tutelage of the Southern Don to take up the head role at Wigan in the UK Super League.

He departed Melbourne with a truckload of his mentor’s blueprints under his arm and brain full of Bellamyisms, both what formed the foundation of a similar philosophy he created which piloted him to the 2010 Super League premiership and 2011 Challenge Cup.

Now the young upstart is back in the NRL as a rival to his former footy Pops, and it’s safe to say the pair of them are mustard-fierce to get hold of a replacement trophy for those rescinded by Ian Schubert as soon as possible.

Adding further intrigue to this thriller is the fact that Maguire is lobbing in to town with 3 of the old boy’s former cohorts rolling alongside him in Matt King, Michael Crocker and Greg Inglis.

Yessiree, its like an oil-free “Dallas” clan showdown and all signs point to a squeaky-tight one.

Being a monstrous final that demands a great cliché prediction, I’m going to say that the battle of the primates in the middle is going to go a long way to deciding the result.

Both packs will be drilled with identical principles to win the ground and belt like a headmaster for the full 80 making it akin to inch-fought trench warfare, but on paper the Bunnies have the edge in star power. Both scrums are like two new flat-pack Ikea cupboards with the same instructions for assembly, except Maguire’s team is reinforced radiata with a glossy veneer compared to Bellamy’s honest cobbled-together chipboard.

Maguire. The P-plater.

However, in Melbourne’s favour is the fact they won their only clash this year in round 2, and the game is being played on their turf at AAMI Park where Souths have never won.

And as we all know, every cliffhanger has a main attraction, so what role will box-office beast Greg Inglis play in this dramality? You know he is programmed for at least one explosion of domination per finals series, so will Saturday be one of those bedazzling nights of match-winning bullish magic?

It’s all adding up to being a worthy sequel to the criss-crossing plotline of Friday night’s humdinger. The AAMI Park bout is a reconvening of former colleagues that’s poised to get edgier than a Rinehart Xmas dinner.

Footy people: will it be the teacher Bellamy or student Maguire who gets the top ratings this Saturday night?

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. The Senior

     /  September 7, 2012

    It should be the Mellamy factor which wins this epic encounter.

    Cronk and Smith will exploit the Puig -Aubert method of kicking wherever Inglis is not.

    The wingers on the opposite side to the full back will be in for a torrid time

    Inglis will have to make his own luck and will be marked accordingly.

    Storm to win in a close one.


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Dane Eldridge Tries Hard

Contemporary rugby league surrealism and hot takes on Shane Warne

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