Melbourne have learnt from their mistakes and start with all guns
blazing against Cronulla in their NRL preliminary final Friday night.
Storm left it until the final minute to hit the front in their
thrilling semi-final victory last Saturday night over the Broncos,
trailing 12-0 at halftime.
But halfback Cooper Cronk said they
couldn’t afford to be sluggish against the hungry Sharks at the Sydney
Football Stadium, with a grand final berth up for grabs.
“It’s vital in big games to get off to a good start, you can’t go around chasing your tail after 20 minutes,” Cronk said.
execution let us down against the Broncos, our intensity and commitment
was there but our execution let us down and we’ve been practicing that
at training and will probably do more.”
Cronk said the Storm also allowed the Sharks to get away in their round two encounter, won 17-16.
it was definitely the start, they had us 14 or 16 blot in probably the
same minutes but we got ourselves back in the game so going on previous
encounters it’s going to be a nice, tight encounter again.”
Cronk will lining up against a former Storm star in Brett Kimmorley, who has been instrumental in the Sharks’ surge this season.
the Melbourne No.7 wasn’t going to spend too much time worrying about
what Kimmorley, who has signed with the Bulldogs for next season, might
throw at them.
“He’s obviously an integral part of what they do, a pivotal point of their attack and their direction,” Cronk said of his rival.
playing great footy, a focal point of what they do and we’re going to
have to be on our game when he’s running the ball and passing.
we’re not too worried about what they’re going to throw at us. One
thing we’ve learnt through the back-end and previous seasons is that
you’ve got to get your own backyard in order first.
fullback Billy Slater said his side’s performance against Brisbane was
below par and they needed to lift if they were to replicate last year’s
grand final success.
“We were a bit scrappy against Brisbane so we’re going to have to step it up a notch.
“We’ll do a lot of homework on them but need to get ourselves right.
“We haven’t been playing our best football over the last couple of weeks and know that we can play better and will need to.”