What If: Bellamy to the Raiders
For me this is the biggest ‘sliding doors’ moment in the NRL of the past 20 years.
Back in 2002 the Raiders had a choice to sign Bellamy as coach.
They instead chose Matthew Elliott, who in his 5 year tenure would make the finals 4 times, without winning once.
So what if they chose Bellamy instead?
In 2002-2004 Bellamy would have got to work with talent looking to take that next step in their career like Joel and Michael Monaghan, Luke Davico, Ryan O’Hara, Alan Tongue, while mixing have veterans like Ruben Wiki, Clinton Schifcofske, and Jason Croker.
2005-2007 he would have a young halves pairing of Todd Carney and Terry Campese., as well as up and coming forwards like Michael Weyman, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs and Neville Costigan.
Another interesting piece of the puzzle was that before the 2003 season, Cameron Smith was touted as a replacement for then #9 Simon Woolford. He toured the facilites and was nearly going to sign. Instead Bellmay at the Storm favoured him over stalwart Richard Swain who would later joined Brisbane.
So…what if Bellamy at Canberra convinced Smith to sign with the Raiders?
Would a Bellamy/Smith partnership with all the talent that Raiders had in the mid 2000’s, lead the Raiders to raising the trophy at the end of the year multiple times?
I think so…
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