Embrace this opportunity: Smith
Embrace the opportunity that is before you.
That is the immediate message that has been delivered to the playing group as Storm gets set to take centre stage in the 2016 NRL Grand Final.
Melbourne have six players; Cameron Smith, Jesse Bromwich, Kevin Proctor, Cooper Cronk, Will Chambers and Dale Finucane who have been there before.
The rest of the side will be getting their first taste of a Grand Final and everything that comes with it.
That is a chance they will look to accept with both hands.
“I am really pleased for the young guys in the squad who haven’t experienced a Grand Final,” Storm skipper Cameron Smith said.
“There’s a few of us in there but these guys, most of them hadn’t played in a Prelim let alone a Grand Final so I’m pretty excited for them.
“You saw the faces of all the Melbourne players there at the end how happy we are. We obviously enjoy the win tonight but we need to change our focus pretty quickly, we’re playing a good side next week.”
That feeling extended to the coach, who will now lead his Storm team into a Grand Final for the sixth time in 11 years.
“I’m really proud of this group and what they’ve done. Not only tonight but the whole season,” Bellamy said.
“Not only am I proud of them but I’m really happy for the whole squad to get a reward like this. It’s great to see our young blokes get a taste of this because it doesn’t come around too often.
“For these young blokes, they’ve got to understand that you don’t get this opportunity too often. You want to make the most of it, you want to really enjoy next week but we want to get our preparation right as well.
“There is a fine balance there that we want to get right and as Cameron said, we are playing a side that won 15 in a row this year. You don’t do that unless you’re a quality outfit and we all know what the Sharks bring to the table.
“We’ll need to prepare well if we are going to be a chance next week.”
So the stage is set; 7.15pm next Sunday night at ANZ Stadium, Storm v Sharks with the ultimate prize up for grabs.
Strap yourselves in Storm fans, it’s going to be quite the week!