Hoffman feeling fresh
After helping New South Wales to their first Origin series victory since 2005, Storm second-rower Ryan Hoffman is feeling fresh coming into the home stretch of the 2014 home and away season.
The 30-year old has been on a modified training program, along with Melbourne's other Origin representatives and is feeling better for some extra time away from training.
"I've had a great time off," Hoffman said.
"I haven't been back training since the game (against the Bulldogs), today's my first day back. It's good, it's a freshen up.
"Origin takes a lot out of you. I'm feeling fresh, the body is feeling good.
"We're building ourselves in, everyone is going under different preparation with what they have had throughout the season.
"We've still been doing a lot of video at home just to make sure we're 100 per cent right for the Raiders this weekend."
Melbourne enter this weekend's match-up with Canberra needing victory to consolidate their position inside the top eight. The second-rower acknowledged the significance of the final two months of the home and away season for Melbourne who sit in a mid table tussle for finals positions.
"We're eighth after the Origin period so the season starts going very very quickly," Hoffman said.
"You need to start cementing yourself in that eight and getting as close as you can to that top four position because there are so many other teams on the same points.
"It's not like previous years where we have had a few wins under our belt so we've had a bit of a buffer there.
"We can't afford to slow down, we need to be taking these next steps."