Flight delays as Storm share NRL plane

Melbourne Storm's flight was delayed an hour on their way to Sydney to play Cronulla in round two of the NRL.

Storm head coach CRAIG BELLAMY
Storm head coach CRAIG BELLAMY Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

With one chartered plane servicing the NRL teams travelling interstate in round two as the game pushes forward amid the coronavirus pandemic, there were bound to be mishaps.

On Saturday, Melbourne's flight to Sydney ahead of their clash with Cronulla was delayed by an hour, because the same plane was used to shuttle Canberra to and from the Gold Coast.

Storm's 2pm flight time was pushed out to 3pm, and they arrived in Sydney just before 5pm - just enough time to get to Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, settle in and then warm up.

It's a far cry from the precise pre-game routines Craig Bellamy and his men are used to, but it's a new reality as the NRL desperately tries to avoid a player or staff member contracting the virus.

"It's been a strange time, I don't think we've every travelled and played on the same day except for trials," Bellamy said.

"It was all a bit different so I think we're probably going to have to get better at preparing that way and get used to preparing that way.

"It doesn't seem like a really big thing but when you're not used to it, and players are on pretty strict routines, we want them to have routines.

"That was all thrown out today, and it's going to be for most teams, especially when they travel. Hopefully we learned some things today about our routine heading into the game and our preparation."

It was this disjointed preparation that prompted an unusually scrappy performance for the Storm, despite winning 12-10 against the Sharks.

"It was something unexpected, but having said that I think for however long, we're going to have to get used to the unexpected and suck it up and get on with it," Bellamy said.

"I'm not sure how we won that game, but just a bit of perseverance at the end and we got there."

The Storm are not due to travel again until round six, when they play North Queensland in Townsville.


AAP