Coming to the end of his first season with Melbourne Storm, Xavier Coates acknowledges taking advice from those before him as a real motivator as he heads into his first finals series.
“I've loved my time so far here and it's even better that I get to play a bit of finals footy,” Coates said yesterday.
“We spoke this morning about not straying away from what you normally do.
“We’re getting advice from everyone that’s played [finals] and we’re really looking forward to the challenge.”
Coates: 'We're all looking forward to it'
At only 21 years old, the winger has already ticked off some huge achievements in his young career, from six appearances at Origin level, making an impressive switch from Brisbane to Melbourne and overcoming his first long-term injury.
Taking every opportunity that comes his way, Coates referred to the Club's legacy as a driving force for him and the team as they move into September.
“When we started our preseason, we looked back at the achievements that Melbourne Storm had over the last couple of years and decades,” Coates shared.
“You see them lifting up that trophy and it's really inspirational.
“As a group, we want to achieve that as well and I think every team that's playing finals wants to achieve that.
“We've worked extremely hard over the year and in the preseason and now it's just about bringing it all together in the final series.”
Melbourne Storm will face the Canberra Raiders at AAMI Park on Saturday in a sudden death final and Coates shared a simple focus on defence as the Melbourne side face a green machine coming off four consecutive wins.
“This club is built on its defence and we spoke about it all year,” the winger said.
“Defence wins games. You can have all the attack you want and score all the tries, but if you're leaking as many as you score and then you're obviously not going to win the game,
“Our defence is a big part of our game and when we go out there, we want to make a big impact with it.”