Favourites not about to take their foot off the gas
THEY’RE already rated one of the greatest NRL teams of all and the hottest premiership hope in memory, but don’t think Melbourne Storm are taking shortcuts on the road to glory.
Storm players have been given more time to freshen up compared to last season in a bid prepare for their preliminary final against Brisbane on Friday.
While Storm are no stranger to playing in the penultimate weekend — this is their third consecutive preliminary final and ninth in the past 12 years — they are still tinkering with their preparation. Last year they underwent an intense opposition session to mimic a match during their week off. This year, however, Storm coach Craig Bellamy has given his charges an extended break, giving them two days off before they return to training today.
Storm entered the finals as $1.85 favourites with the TAB to win it all.
“We’ve had a couple of days off,” lock Dale Finucane said. “It’s a freshen-up week, I guess. We had a little bit of work and training earlier on and now we will approach it as a normal seven-day turnaround preparation for us.
“(Thursday) was our bigger training day before leading into our normal seven-day preparation.
“(The coaching staff) have spread the workload. Last year we might’ve had a few days off in a row before doing a heavier session. It’s a bit similar but we’ve spread the workload over a few days.”
Finucane — who has been part of three premiership losses — stressed his side needed to not get ahead of themselves.
“I don’t like to think about it too much,” he said of finally lifting the trophy. “One poor performance is all it takes.”
Melbourne Storm’s Dale Finucane.