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Storm, Bellamy won't buy into Tigers drama

NZN 23/03/2017 Melissa Woods

Unbeaten Melbourne Storm won't buy in to the emotion of the Wests Tigers team when they meet at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday afternoon.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy acknowledges that the Tigers will likely be fuelled by the shock sacking of their NRL coach Jason Taylor this week.

The return to their favourite home ground to play in front of the Tigers faithful after two heavy away losses is also set to add to the drama.

While Bellamy feels for Taylor, he says he won't let it affect Melbourne's preparation.

"We can't control what happens up there," Bellamy said on Thursday.

"Their board is obviously doing what they think is the right thing and it's unfortunate for Jason Taylor.

"All we can control is our preparation for Sunday's game."

Melbourne have named Young Tonumaipea as the replacement for injured winger Suli Vunivola and Bellamy was happy to be able to provide the 24-year-old with another start.

He held the position early last season before suffering a knee injury, which ironically gave Vunivola his first crack and he went on to become the competition's top tryscorer, giving Tonumaipea no hope of breaking back in.

"Young was very unlucky last season when he got injured and we have faith that he's going to do a good job," Bellamy said.

On the other wing speedster Josh Addo-Carr returns to Leichhardt Oval to face his former side for the first time.

Bellamy said veteran fullback Billy Slater had pulled up sore after his first match in more than a year but wasn't in any doubt.

Kiwi Test prop Jesse Bromwich has also come through his return from a thumb injury well and was primed to take on Kangaroos front-rower Aaron Woods.

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