Craig Bellamy says the Melbourne Storm will have to be on guard against Sydney Roosters star James Tedesco when the two sides go head-to-head on Saturday.
The Storm are priced at 14/5 to win the grand final and play the Roosters, who sit seventh on the NRL ladder with seven wins from their opening 13 games.
Saturday’s game comes just days after game one of State of Origin, which saw Queensland beat New South Wales 16-10 in Sydney.
It also saw Storm winger Xavier Coates limp out of the action with what appears to be a serious foot injury that will require scans. Melbourne do not know the full extent of the damage just yet. But it does not look good.
Bellamy admits the loss of Coates means they are now struggling for options.
"We are down in troops in the outside back, we lost George (Jennings) first game of the season, we've lost Reimis (Smith) and now Xavier, it's stretching our resources," Bellamy told reporters.
New South Wales and Roosters skipper Tedesco will need to pick himself up for the game after suffering the disappointing loss in midweek and Bellamy is warning his Storm players over a potential backlash.
"He's been playing really well as everyone knows, he had one hell of a game on Wednesday night even though he was in the losing team," he said. "His last six or seven weeks is as good as he's played for a couple of years."