Storm scraps Origin resting policy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm scraps Origin resting policy

By Melissa Woods 18/07/2008 07:15:07 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne have scrapped their policy of resting Origin players in a bid to nail down a top four spot in their pursuit of back-to-back NRL crowns.

The Storm have rotated their representative stars out of games late in the season over the past two years to freshen up before the finals.

But Melbourne aren't in a position to afford to take their opposition lightly this year following three losses with their nine Origin stars unavailable.

They trail competition front-runners Manly and are on level points with the Roosters and Sharks.

Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith said it would be left up to the individual, as well as team medical staff, to decide whether to sit out a game.

But he for one planned on playing every match.

"Going on last year I ended up having a rest against the Sharks and I thought that probably didn't work as well as I wanted it to, so this year personally I think having a couple of days away from training for the next couple of weeks and then keep playing will be best," Smith said.

This week the Origin players were given an additional two-day break, and coach Craig Bellamy planned to continue the reduced training schedule for the next few weeks to keep their minds and bodies fresh.

"If I have a couple of days away from the club than I feel fresh as a daisy," Smith said.

The NRL draw also hasn't done Melbourne any favours.

They take on St George Illawarra on Monday night before flying to New Zealand on Friday for a Sunday game against the Warriors.

After flying home on Monday they have to back up for a Friday night match against the Titans.

They then face high-flyers Manly and the Roosters in successive weeks.

Smith said hard-working forwards such as Brett White, Dallas Johnson and Ryan Hoffman would probably still be rested for a game, while backs such as Greg Inglis, Billy Slater and Israel Folau would be more likely to continue playing.

He said it would be a tough task to topple any of those top teams without their best players on the paddock, but winning the competition was the priority.

"We haven't got the luxury of being four points clear like we have been in the last couple of years when Craig's brought in that rotation system to give the blokes a rest.

"There's three of us tied for second and then it's not too far to ninth so you only have to have a couple of losses and you're in a bit of strife.

"Our goal is to keep winning and give ourselves a good chance of finishing in the top four and if that means we have to all keep playing then that's what we have to do."

The Storm have not given up hope of securing their third successive minor premiership.

"It would be nice to do it because not many teams have done that but it's more important to get everyone right for the finals and be fresh.

"If we can go all the way again to the grand final it would be great to have everyone on deck."

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