Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has an idea how to stop Brisbane whiz kid Reece Walsh and it involves heavy artillery of magnum force.
Broncos fullback Walsh takes the pace of a game to another level and creates havoc when he chimes in and Bellamy was asked how to stop him in Friday night’s qualifying final at Suncorp Stadium.
"I think that question was asked to opposition coaches back when Billy (Slater) was playing and the answer was, 'with a double-barrel shotgun'," Bellamy grinned.
"If anyone has got one of them we might be able to take it out on the field.
"I don’t know whether I have seen a quicker player than Reece. Billy was unbelievable at changing direction and still being quick, but that straight line pace (of Walsh) ... I haven’t seen many quicker than this bloke.
"We have a little plan we are hoping to put into action but ... he is a very dangerous player and a huge benefit for the Broncos."
Bellamy hopes 2020 Clive Churchill Medal winner Ryan Papenhuyzen can give his side an extra edge in the finals. The 25-year-old has played just two NRL games after a 405-day absence from the top grade to recover from having his kneecap smashed into 10 pieces in July of last year.
Bellamy said it was not realistic to compare the pace of Papenhuyzen and Walsh at the moment, before adding what a bonus it was to have him back
"Paps has looked sharp but the more footy he plays the sharper he will get," Bellamy said.
"I think he has added confidence to the rest of the team, especially our senior players.
"Everyone thinks of his pace, which is a great quality, but he knows the game really well and has played in a few positions in the last six weeks in the Queensland Cup and NRL.
"We just think that he will give the team plenty of energy and know how when he comes on."
Bellamy has played Papenhuyzen as a fullback, in the halves and as a roving ruck player and that gives the Storm plenty of options.
Nick Meaney is named to start at fullback and Papenhuyzen on the bench.
"There are a couple of positions he might end up in," Bellamy said.
"We are relying on how the game goes with how we use him. We haven’t got a 100 per cent plan."
Bellamy said he was not surprised that his former assistant coach Kevin Walters had been such a success as Broncos head coach.
"He made some brave decisions over the last couple of years to stick with his young blokes," Bellamy said.
"They had a bad finish (in 2022) and he was under pressure but he stuck to his beliefs and that is what I really admire. He is getting the rewards now."