There was a time when a young Dale Finucane would watch Greg Bird in admiration, learning off him and trying to mould his game around the NSW lock.
However on Sunday instead of taking notes, Finucane will be running full-tilt at the man he used to develop his game on.
The Storm No.13 has now built himself into one of the NRL’s toughest and most consistant locks, capable of mixing it with any player at the position.
That includes Bird, who will be a key figure in the visitor’s lineup when Gold Coast makes the trip down to AAMI Park this weekend.
“(Bird) has got that ball-playing ability and grit as well, he is quite an aggressive player,” Finucane said.
“When I was younger it was something you could model your game on a little bit but obviously playing against him now it is a different story.
“It seemed (last week) like he was playing that roving, lock role; a little bit of ball playing, mixed in with some of the tough stuff as well. That will be hard to contain and we will do a lot of video on them this week.”
Storm will be looking to make it back-to-back home wins to start the season after holding off the Dragons 18-16 on Monday night.
The Club has included special deal for Storm fans this Sunday, with kids under 15 given free entry into the game.
A sea of purple will hopefully fill AAMI Park, adding to a home atmosphere that the players will look to take full advantage of this season.
“That is something that Craig has really drilled into us, making AAMI Park a fortress and winning all the home games,” Finucane said.
“That is something we really want to build on and obviously for the fans as well who are expecting their team to win.”
Storm will host the Titans at 6.30pm this Sunday at AAMI Park with free entry for kids under 15.