AAMI PARK, Melbourne -- What is it exactly that makes Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy so great?
Is it the way he manages to extract the best out of his players? Is it his high attention to detail and ability to constantly strive for perfection? Is it his longevity in the game? Or is it that he's simply rugby league's greatest tactical mind?
Just five days on from guiding his side to a 54-point win over the Eels at Suncorp Stadium, the legendary Melbourne coach was back on his home deck and orchestrating a stunning come-from-behind win against an ultra-impressive Wests Tigers outfit.
The Storm actually looked to be heading towards a rare AAMI Park loss when they trailed by eight points in the final 10 minutes of Thursday night's Round 10 opener.
For large periods the Tigers had played disciplined football, dominated possession and looked the cleaner of the two sides, but late tries to Marion Seve and Will Chambers flipped the game on its head.
Melbourne hit the front in the dying minutes and eventually ran out 24-22 winners, jumping to top spot on the ladder in the process.
The win marked Bellamy's 300th unbeaten game (298 wins, two draws) as coach in the National Rugby League, a milestone shared by only three others in history: Wayne Bennett, Tim Sheens and Brian Smith. But of the quartet, nobody has a better winning rate than Bellamy at 68.4 percent.
"I didn't think a whole heap of things went our way tonight and I'm really proud and happy that [we] kept sticking in there and hanging in there. That was really encouraging," Bellamy said after the game. "It was a slow game of footy, but we got the result."
Tigers coach Michael Maguire, who worked under Bellamy in Melbourne during the 2009 season, says his former mentor has built an empire with the Storm and it's something he's hopeful his side can eventually get to.
"Melbourne have been doing this for years," Maguire said. "[We've] been working really hard to play the style of game that wins big games and [tonight] we were playing against a team that's been doing it for a long time.
"For our players, that's the key now, to take the next step to get to the levels of this organization. That's where we want to be."
Despite the comeback, it was a far from perfect night for Melbourne with a suspected season-ending injury to star prop Christian Welch. The 24-year-old went down clutching his right knee on the stroke of halftime and the club later confirmed he's likely ruptured his ACL.
"There's not a great mood in the dressing room at the moment," Bellamy said. "Christian is injured and it looks like it's an ACL, so that's really disappointing.
"As you can imagine, he's quite upset and his teammates are really feeling for him. It's really disappointing because obviously he'd been playing well and was in line to play Origin.
"At the end of the day, he's going to be really hard to replace. He's been a really important part of our team for two or three years now. It's certainly far from ideal."