Craig Bellamy's brilliant antics, awful new low for Tigers: Good, bad, ugly of NRL Round 14

The Melbourne Storm and Wests Tigers couldn't be travelling any different.

😃 The good: Craig Bellamy shows he hasn't lost any passion

😔 The bad: Ricky Stuart's bizarre rant targeted at rival NRL clubs

😡 The ugly: Bad to worse for Benji Marshall and Wests Tigers

Can Craig Bellamy please coach forever. The sight of "Bellyache" rising from his seat and storming to the top section of the coach's box after every Melbourne mistake against Newcastle made for great Sunday arvo viewing.

It was almost as entertaining as the game itself, which went right down to the wire as his team held off a fast-finishing Newcastle. Watching injured players in the box trying not to smirk at Bellamy's antics was almost as much fun.

Fox Sports commentator Warren Smith joked they'd have to replace the carpet in the box after Bellamy had worn it out following his frequent storm outs. "Craig is back for the moment…no, maybe not. Maybe he's seen enough. Everybody's smiling somewhat sheepishly," Smith said as Bellamy briefly exited from view only to return late in the game. "Cam Munster's seen himself on the big screen but he's not going to smile, just in case the coach sees that in the video review."

Craig Bellamy during a Melbourne Storm game.
Craig Bellamy in the coach's box during a Melbourne Storm game. Image: Getty

At a time where there's healthy debate on how much time a coach should give to the job, there's no doubt where Bellamy's commitment and passionate is at. Even after all these years, the care factor is through the roof.

And it's doing his team no harm. They sit top of the ladder after yet another brilliant first half of the season.

Who exactly was Ricky Stuart referring to when he complained about clubs whinging about having to negotiate the Origin period without their best players? In case you missed it, Sticky told The Sunday Telegraph: "You hear all these complaints that they’ve got to give up their superstars, the poor buggers. I’d love to have fix or six State of Origin players."

The thing is, we can't remember any club blowing up over having to provide players to the two Origin teams. Quite the opposite, in fact.

North Queensland had six Origin reps but coach Todd Payten said: "It's a good thing for our club." The Panthers provided four players to the NSW cause and lost Dylan Edwards to injury while training with the Blues.

Ricky Stuart.
Ricky Stuart during a Canberra Raiders game. Image: Getty

Still, coach Ivan Cleary was not complaining. He said: "It's a real opportunity for us as a club to really set out season up and still be able to perform without some of our best players. It's a chance to make our mark as a team and club over the next eight weeks. We're proud of what we've been able to do before."

Trent Robinson lost four players to Origin but was another to welcome the opportunity. "If (my players) keep putting their best foot forward Madge (Michael Maguire) will start looking up and so will Billy (Slater). You want your players to be playing in Origin." No whinging there.

Benji Marshall is fast finding out rugby league is a 24/7 business even if he is trying to break new ground by finding a better work-life balance than his counterparts. The Wests Tigers boss is fighting fires on several fronts in his first year in charge, overseeing the worst start to a season in the club's history while managing moody players who want out.

Prop Stefano Utoikamanu will surely activate a clause in his contract and start life at a stronger club while boom youngster Lachlan Gavin has asked for a release just 10 games into his NRL career. On top of that, Marshall has been blueing with journalists who have questioned his commitment to the cause after taking a mid-season holiday with his family to Fiji during the bye round.

It comes after he set himself up as a new breed coach who refuses to be chained to the job or be dictated by its relentless demands. That all sounds good in theory but not so good in reality, especially when you’re in your first year and your side is playing like a park team.

Apisai Koroisau and Wests Tigers players.
Wests Tigers players look on during their loss to the Dragons. Image: Getty

The life of an NRL head coach is all consuming. There is no off switch. Marshall won’t care about the odd spat with a journo – he's been down that road a few times in his career – but he will be gutted over losing the Tigers' loyal fan base.

While acknowledging there is a long injury list, the majority has seen and heard enough after Friday night's sorry second half capitulation to the Dragons – the club's ninth-straight defeat. They will vote with their feet by staying away from games.

The Tigers' decade-plus run of outs is actually eroding their love of the club and the game. One dejected fan suggested the players be read "supporter impact" statements to get a real feel of their anger, resentment and frustration. It might just be worth a try.

Check back in every Monday throughout the NRL season for Adam Lucius' 'Good, Bad and Ugly' column.