One focus remains for determined Storm
There is no shying away from the fact that Cronulla are the sentimental favourites heading into the 2016 NRL Grand Final.
Spoiling that fairytale however is far from the main motivation for Storm.
While much of the talk has been centred around the Sharks and their hopes of breaking a 49-year premiership drought, Melbourne has simply been going about their business of fine tuning their preparations.
As the two side’s met for the first time at Thursday’s NRL Fan Day at Sydney Opera House, the Storm skipper made it clear what his side was focusing on.
“Our approach is not about being the party poopers, it’s about playing against a very good football side and us preparing well,” Cameron Smith said.
“It all comes down to who has the best game of footy on Sunday, that is all it comes down to in a Grand Final.
“We understand the story of the Cronulla Sharks and their Club, they’ve been waiting a long time to win a premiership but for us we don’t take that into account. Our focus is purely on us and our preparation and making sure we are ready to go on Sunday.”
The build up may be bigger, so too the crowds, the television audience and the nerves but it remains business as usual for the Victorian side.
“If you get to a game and you change your messages and you change your mentality that just confuses people, especially young players,” coach Craig Bellamy said.
“So the message is not going to be a whole heap different to what they are for every game. There’s a few things on Grand Final day that you need to be aware of, that don’t come in all games throughout the year.
“Most things, most footy messages will be basically the same. The last thing I want to do is to try and confuse my players, I want to keep things pretty simple.”