Craig Bellamy and Ricky Stuart have been caught sharing a heartwarming moment in the locker room after Melbourne’s 30-10 preliminary final victory over the Raiders.
Much was made of the rivalry between the long-time friends ahead of the sudden death clash at Suncorp Stadium, but when all was said and done no words could sum up a touching moment shared between the former teammates in the change room.
As is tradition between the pair, the winning coach takes a beer to the losing coach, and when cameras captured the old friends enjoying each other’s company all the hype was put to bed.
“That’s our game. That’s our game right there. You go out for 80 minutes and you rage. There’s smiles there, but they are unbelievable competitive individuals these two,” Eels legend Peter Sterling said post-game on Nine.
“He would be hurting now, Ricky Stuart, and Craig Bellamy understands that. He knows. So, he wouldn’t have to say much. But that’s what our game is all about.
“Two great mates and former teammates, now coaching opponents. And you’d love to know what the conversation is. It wouldn’t be an easy one I wouldn’t imagine.
“Craig Bellamy will know what to do next week, he’s been there. I know this season has been a little bit different but you’ve got to get things right in the build-up to this week.”
Jillaroos great Ruan Sims was equally awed by the touching display.
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“It’s wonderful to see these two great coaches sitting there,” Sims said.
“And whilst it would be very difficult conversation, I’d love to be a fly on the wall behind them because I think it would be very enlightening.”