Brandon Smith, Scott Drinkwater, Curtis Scott, and Brodie Croft. Picture: Instagram
Brandon Smith, Scott Drinkwater, Curtis Scott, and Brodie Croft. Picture: Instagram

‘Balwyn Brawlers’: Craig Bellamy's most prized possessions

THERE'S a flat in Melbourne's east where some of Craig Bellamy's most precious and valuable possessions are kept.

The net worth of the house's contents is great - let's call it invaluable - and it could hold the key to Storm success for a decade to come.

It comes in the form of four of the NRL club's brightest young stars.

Brodie Croft, Brandon Smith, Curtis Scott, and Scott Drinkwater are flatmates in the Melbourne suburb of Balwyn.

They call themselves the "Balwyn Brawlers" and have become thick as thieves since moving to the southern capital to wear purple.

"I live with Brodie and Curtis and Scott Drinkwater so we've got a good bond going. We live in Balwyn, we call ourselves the Brawlers," Smith told foxsports.com.au.

"Brodie is definitely the clean one. I think he's the glue to our household.

"When there's dishes there that me or Curtis or Drinky have left behind he's always getting stuck into us.

"We're always into him, saying he's lazy and stuff. But it's all banter ... he's a really clean guy. It shows on the field, too."

The quartet share a bond at home and Bellamy hopes that can extend to the football field when all four inevitably line up side by side for Melbourne.

They are yet to share a field together in the NRL.

Scott has well and truly cemented his spot at centre for the Storm, while Croft and Smith have spent time in and out of the team this season.

All three of them will play in Sunday's grand final at ANZ Stadium.

Drinkwater made his debut in round 25 at halfback, scoring a try in his first game.

But with Billy Slater and Cameron Smith about to retire, and the contract of Cameron Munster up in the air, it won't be long before the Balwyn Brawlers are all running around in the NRL.

And that's an exciting prospect for 22-year-old Smith.

"It's very humbling that I'm a part of such a great young team coming through, and people like Cameron Smith help us get the best out of ourselves," he said.

"It's sad seeing Billy Slater go because he plays such a big role in our young group. He's a great player of the game but he also makes you better at every training session."

For Smith, he's preparing for his first senior rugby league grand final.

Barring a couple of junior deciders the young hooker has never played for a piece of silverware - and never one as cherished as the Provan-Sumons Trophy.

He says he will never forget the feeling when he realised Melbourne had qualified for the grand final.

"It was very surreal, I was more shocked than anything," he said after the Storm beat Cronulla last Friday.

"I couldn't wrap my head around it ... I've been playing footy since I was three years old and the grand final is the biggest thing for me and I'm going to be playing in one next week.

"Just in shock really, I can't put it into words. I'm very excited."


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