Mel­bourne play­ers en­joy life on the road

The Observer - - LEAGUE SPORT - — Gil­bert Gar­diner

HAVE boots, will travel.

That’s been the tale of the tape for Mel­bourne Storm this sea­son.

From pre-sea­son tri­als in Ho­bart and the Sunshine Coast to pre­mier­ship games in Perth, Ade­laide, Syd­ney and Auck­land, New Zealand, liv­ing out of suit­cases has be­come the norm.

Add Bris­bane tonight and a Townsville trip later in the year and the club’s fre­quent flyer bal­ance has never been health­ier.

Storm lock Dale Fin­u­cane says the heavy travel sched­ule has been good.

“We’ve done a fair bit of trav­el­ling but it doesn’t seem to worry us too much,” Fin­u­cane said.

“It doesn’t ap­pear to bother the young guys too much, if you’re do­ing ev­ery­thing right dur­ing the week as long as ev­ery­one’s in­di­vid­ual prepa­ra­tion is good then it’s not an is­sue.

“It gives (younger play­ers) an op­por­tu­nity to be around the NRL team en­vi­ron­ment more reg­u­larly (on the road) which ob­vi­ously is good for them.”

Fin­u­cane re­jected of­fers from ri­val clubs early in the sea­son to com­mit long-term to Storm.

The 25-year-old New South Welsh­man has en­joyed see­ing the next gen­er­a­tion Storm stars take their chances this sea­son.

“We’ve had a fair few young guys who had to come in and play a role within our team and they’ve done re­ally well,” Fin­u­cane said.

Storm coach Craig Bel­lamy has been forced to spin the mag­nets this sea­son with in­juries and Ori­gin tak­ing a toll.

Bel­lamy has un­leashed nine Storm debu­tants, the most in a sin­gle sea­son since 2013, while de­vel­op­ing guns Slade Grif­fin, Brodie Croft and Cur­tis Scott have added to their game tal­lies.

Cameron Smith (sore­ness) and Tohu Har­ris (leg) trained yes­ter­day and look set to face the Bron­cos.

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