Sport

Belcher warns Raiders not to play negative

OUTSTANDING: Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson's clash with Cameron Smith will go a long way to deciding today's game.
OUTSTANDING: Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson's clash with Cameron Smith will go a long way to deciding today's game. PAUL MILLER

DUAL premiership winner Gary Belcher says Canberra can roll Melbourne at AAMI Park today if it sticks with the style it has been playing and not get negative against the Storm.

In fact, Belcher believes if Ricky Stuart's men trust their attack and take a few risks with the football, they will win through to their first grand final since 1994.

Belcher said it had taken Canberra a fair while to realise what a good football side it was.

"It has taken them a while, even through last year to realise other teams fear them and how they can break loose the way they play,” Belcher, who won premierships with Canberra in 1989-90, told Australian Regional Media.

"They kind of took a while to realise how good they are and to get that belief and swagger good teams need.

"I think the key to the game for Canberra is to play the way they normally play and not try to outmuscle them in the middle, although they have some big men who can get on the front foot.”

Minor premier Melbourne will try to choke down Canberra's dangerous attack, especially their lethal right side of Joseph Leilua and Jordan Rapana.

Like most observers and critics, Belcher sang the praises of English hooker Josh Hodgson who will take on the Cameron Smith, the best No.9 in the business.

"Hodgson has been truly outstanding,” the former Queensland Origin star said.

"He threatens the line and because he steps out of dummy half he gives space to his outside players and he's a tough bloke as well, which you need in a dog fight.”

Belcher said his main concern was the Raiders' tendency to switch off at times, which against a well-drilled and highly disciplined side like Melbourne could prove to be fatal.

"That's a big worry for me,” he said.

Belcher said in some ways he would probably be more comfortable if Canberra was six or eight points down in the last 20 minutes.

"I'd almost rather see them six or eight points behind in the last 15 or 20 minutes because you know if they are, they will play some positive football and not be conservative if they are ahead and try and protect a lead,” he said.

Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk will play his 300th NRL game in front of a packed crowd.

His milestone will add to the players' motivation, although a shot at the grand final on Sunday week should be enough.

Melbourne's vastly improved centre Cheyse Blair probably has one of the biggest and most important jobs trying to immobilise Canberra's monster Leilua, who scored two tries when the Raiders upset them in round 23.

Topics:  belcher, raiders, storm



Fight breaks out at Rose City Shoppingworld

Police were called just after 1pm.

A MAN has been charged after allegedly causing a ruckus

Extra backpacker beds for Stanthorpe

View of the Stanthorpe CBD from Mount Marley.

Stanthorpe will see a boost to accommodation for seasonal workers

Storms are coming! What it means for your long weekend

Yes, it's going to affect your long weekend

Local Partners

9000 reasons to support our community clubs

Community clubs are good at what they do. They are not so good at telling the world about what they do, as Clubs Queensland CEO Doug Flockhart explains.


Homer Simpson thanks Australia during Opera House visit

Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House.

ANIMATION favourite gets attacked by seagulls in viral video.

Channel 9 orders second season of Doctor Doctor

Rodger Corser stars in the TV series Doctor Doctor.

RURAL medical drama finds a loyal following.

Katy Perry gets naked to encourage people to vote

Katy Perry in Funny Or Die sketch

Katy Perry has stripped naked for a comedy video

Jogging Tom Hanks crashes wedding in Central Park

Tom Hanks stopped for a selfie with this bride and groom

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Rural properties expected to soar as investors seek income

Rural properties are should become highly sought after

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.