As the Storm prepare to take part in a finals series from outside of the top four for the first time since 2015, a club great's address to the squad this week insisted they have what it takes to re-write history.
Since the NRL's inception in 1998 no team has won the Premiership after finishing the regular season outside of the top four, meaning the odds are firmly stacked against the fifth-placed Storm going all the way this year.
But ahead of facing the Raiders in Saturday’s elimination final, versatile forward Brandon Smith said Melbourne believe that at their best they can match it with any of the top four sides, with legendary fullback Billy Slater visiting the club on Tuesday to reinforce that message.
Match: Storm v Raiders
Finals Week 1 -
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
"He [Slater] just pretty much said ‘why not us? Why can’t we do it?’," Smith said.
"I know there has been chat around 'no one has ever won it from fifth spot'. Bill has got a lot of finals experience, so when he talks you sort of just shut up and listen, so he just gave us some words of encouragement."
Playmaker Cameron Munster, who is one of the six players set to take the field this Saturday who were also around the last time they finished outside of the top four, said while they've made life hard for themselves in 2022, nobody is lacking belief.
"The effort is there for us, we just need to make sure we go out there and execute our game plan and that everyone is in the right spots,” Munster said.
"If we do that and hold the ball, on our day I think we can give any team in this competition a shake.
I think (any of) the top eight can really give the competition a shake on their best day. I think Souths and Roosters are probably top four sides.Cameron Munster
"We are very confident with the team we have got. I know we put ourselves in a sticky situation coming fifth, we had every opportunity last week to beat Parramatta (and finish fourth).
"It’s going to be tough for us, I’m not going to sugar coat it. But we have got the calibre and depth of players to go well.
"We have got a tough road ahead of us, Raiders first, hopefully we can play some really good footy and then we will have to go into some dark territory in Sydney and play someone there."
While the Storm will host Saturday's clash against the Raiders, AAMI Park holds little fear for Canberra, who have won in each of their last four visits to the venue.
Match Highlights: Eels v Storm
Most recently that included a 20-16 victory for the Green Machine in round 18, and Smith admitted the Raiders play a style which Melbourne struggles with.
"Canberra is just one of those teams that has sort of had the wood over us for a little while, especially at home," Smith said.
“I think they just play a style of footy that sort of upsets us a little bit, but we will look to combat that.
Match Highlights: Storm v Raiders
"I think they had the side from the beginning to be in the top eight, they just weren’t really putting it together. But they are doing it now and they’ve got a really good squad."