Melbourne Storm prepared for the Origin period

Last updated 10:50 17/05/2014
Craig Bellamy
Getty Images
CONFIDENT: Storm coach Craig Bellamy.

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No one is hit harder by the State of Origin period than the Melbourne Storm.

But, after a slow start to the year, Storm coach Craig Bellamy is confident the perennial NRL powerhouse can successfully negotiate the interstate period with superstars Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater focused on their Queensland duties.

After an impressive 27-14 win over South Sydney on Friday night, the Storm are 6-4 after 10 rounds following back-to-back victories  before the eight-week Origin period begins next week with the NSW  and Queensland sides named on Tuesday.

''Origin is always a tough period for us - that is just the way  it is,'' Bellamy said.

''We need some of our older players to stand up and take charge  because we don't see these blokes much during these six or seven  weeks.

''Even when they are not playing Origin we are trying to rest  them up, they are playing a lot of games during that period.''

Melbourne have a bye next weekend ahead of the Origin opener in  Brisbane on May 28.

Then they have to work their way through a challenging five-game  period before they have their second and last bye of the season  ahead of the third Origin game on July 9.

Smith, Slater and Cronk were all instrumental in their win over  the Rabbitohs with Slater scoring two tries and returning to form  having struggled to hit the ground running this year after  pre-season knee surgery following Australian's World Cup win.

Bellamy said the effort his team have put in - in wins over  Souths and Manly - had him feeling better heading into the middle  part of the premiership.

''I'm feeling a lot more confident after the last two weeks,''  Bellamy said.

''Origin is there; we knew it was coming. We just need to make  sure everyone steps up a touch - and makes sure that when these  guys are away, our training standards are good and, if our training  standards are good, we should perform reasonably well.'

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