Competition - NRL
Round - Finals Week 1
Teams – Melbourne Storm v North Queensland Cowboys
Date –    10th of September 2016
Venue – AAMI Park, Melbourne VIC
Photographer – Brett Crockford
Description –

Melbourne are one win away from an NRL Grand Final but the focus remains on what lies ahead in two weeks time.

For the second straight year Storm will host a preliminary final at AAMI Park after defeating the Cowboys in front of 21,333 fans on Saturday night.

It was a performance that typified much of what Craig Bellamy’s side has been about this year; tough, relentless and cool under pressure.

The men in purple will now have a week off before hosting either the Raiders, Bulldogs or Panthers for the right to play in a grand final.

The prospect of reaching the final day is now closer than ever but the Storm skipper has ruled out thinking that far ahead.

“Whoever we play next, that will be my focus,” Smith said.

“Again we’ve put ourselves in another good position, we’ve earned a week off. As a player I’d take a week off every day of the week than have to play through.

“We will prepare well… the focus needs to be the next match, that is all there is to it. If we lose sight of that, we’ll struggle to win. All the boys are just worrying about our next game now and that is what we’ll do.”

Storm will now wait to find out who their opponent will in the preliminary final.

The Raiders will host either the Panthers or Bulldogs next Saturday night at Canberra Stadium with the winner to make the trip to Victoria.