Cameron Munster has revealed how the Storm's unprecedented "bubble" on the Sunshine Coast has brought them closer together as they prime themselves for a successful finals tilt.
Munster said the Storm would "squeeze every lemon to make lemonade", a metaphor he applied both on and off the field in their quest for a premiership.
Melbourne will remain based in their Twin Waters resort bubble for the rest of the season away from their homes in Melbourne, but they have made it work.
"Everyone is accountable for their own preparation. We are eating together so you are seeing what everyone is eating. You can’t go home and have a cheat meal here and there where no-one knows about it until you get to training," Munster said after Sunday's 30-6 win over Manly.
"Our families are here so everyone is mingling with the families and getting to know everyone. Once a week we sit with different families so I am hanging out with people I never used to hang out with it.
Match Highlights: Storm v Sea Eagles
"That is why we are playing so well because we are getting to know each other. That's something I have got to love and why I am excited for the next weeks of being in the bubble.
"The bubble can be a great thing. The Warriors are playing decent footy and have made the most sacrifices and I am very thankful for that. Some of them haven’t seen their families in New Zealand and some of their kids are walking and they haven’t seen that.
"They are sticking together like we are ourselves."
Get Caught Up: Round 16
Next man up mentality
Munster pointed to the development of Tino Fa'asuamaleaui and the way the Storm get outstanding displays from unknowns like debutant winger Isaac Lumelume against Manly, and bench forwards Chris Lewis and Darryn Schonig, as keys to their form.
"The great thing about this club is that there is always someone in the lurch who needs a crack and an opportunity and they will show what they are worth," he said.
"This club sees little potentials and all they have to do is finetune them and shave the edges. That is what they have done with me as well and I am very grateful to be here.
"We are going to lose Tino at the end of the year but we have got him this year and we have to make sure we can do everything we can to squeeze every lemon to make lemonade.
"Even if that is the renegades, the reserve-grade boys, that are playing it is a 'next man up' attitude. Whoever is playing in the Melbourne Storm jersey need to make sure we can get to the common goal of a premiership."
Every try from round 16
Making of a Munster
Munster said he was "easily" ahead of where he was before previous finals series and forging a better partnership on his left edge with Justin Olam, Josh Addo-Carr and, when fit, Kenny Bromwich.
"I am calmer and not as erratic as I was in previous years," he said.
"I am trying to do a lot more with my edge and making sure we get that connection and morale so we can execute and ice those opportunities.
"We had opportunities and threw some forward passes [against Manly]. We have to make sure we own them and finish them because when we play the Roosters and Panthers we need to ice them because we could lose by two points and that could be the difference."
Munster knows the road to grand final and the big games. In 2016 the Sharks beat the Storm in the decider. In 2017 it ended in glory for Melbourne but in 2018 and 2019 they were undone by the Roosters in the grand final and preliminary final respectively.
Storm finish it in style
"I am going to do everything to make sure I get the next eight weeks the way I want it," he said.
"The Roosters have shown that you have to make September your own and they have done that back-to-back years.
"That is something we are making sure we focus on, obviously to finish in the top two. Then our next goal is to play consistent footy in the finals. If you are inconsistent then teams will pull your pants down.
"In previous years I have tasted success and the sourness of loss too. I would much rather be on the podium and holding that trophy at the end of the year."
Fit and firing
Munster returned from his second lay-off with an MCL injury against Manly and is more confident in his knee.
“I made sure I was 80 or 90 per cent right whereas last time I was 60 or 70," he said.
"I was a lot more comfortable and confident with it and now I need to go out and do it again."
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The Storm have won their last 16 games at all Queensland venues, including all four of their clashes at their new Sunshine Coast Stadium base this year.
"We are very lucky the Sunny Coast have brought us in, made us feel at home and supported us. I am more than happy to give back to them and play a home final here," he said.
"The NRL has the say but I would like to say that hopefully we can play a home final here. If they want a bigger venue and it is Suncorp … then we don’t play too bad there either."