Turnaround a benefit
Reliable Storm forward Ryan Hinchcliffe says a Friday-Sunday turnaround will be beneficial for Melbourne in more ways than one for their Elimination Final.
After experiencing two five-day breaks in the final month of the home and away season, Hinchcliffe is confident the longer turnaround will allow Melbourne to thoroughly prepare for the Bulldogs.
"It's been nice to have a bit of a freshen up and spend some time at home after a game and for us to put an extra day or two preparation into the opposition," Hinchcliffe
"From that point of view it's been good, it hasn't been as rushed as previous weeks."
The lock forward also acknowledged the turnaround would be handy for skipper Cameron Smith who is aiming to overcome an ankle injury in time for Sunday's showdown against the Bulldogs.
"That's a big one too, he's obviously still on crutches at the moment," Hinchcliffe said.
"He's been getting some treatment from our physios. We won't know how he's going to be until he gets off the crutches and puts some weight on it."
2014 will be the first year since 2005 in which Melbourne has not begun a finals series from inside the top four. Hinchcliffe believes Storm enter this year's finals series in better form than 2013 but understands the reality of knockout football.
"I think we are playing a bit more consistent footy at the moment than we were 12 months ago," Hinchcliffe said.
"But in saying that, it's a week by week thing and now its to the point where it's do or die.
"Our previous form doesn't account for too much, it's about what happens on Sunday."