Storm to come out firing against Sharks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm to come out firing against Sharks

By Melissa Woods 25/09/2008 02:56:39 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne have learnt from their mistakes and start with all guns blazing against Cronulla in their NRL preliminary final Friday night.

The Storm left it until the final minute to hit the front in their thrilling semi-final victory last Saturday night over the Broncos, trailing 12-0 at halftime.

But halfback Cooper Cronk said they couldn't afford to be sluggish against the hungry Sharks at the Sydney Football Stadium, with a grand final berth up for grabs.

"It's vital in big games to get off to a good start, you can't go around chasing your tail after 20 minutes," Cronk said.

"Our execution let us down against the Broncos, our intensity and commitment was there but our execution let us down and we've been practising that at training and will probably do more."

Cronk said the Storm also allowed the Sharks to get away in their round two encounter, won 17-16.

"Again it was definitely the start, they had us 14 or 16 blot in probably the same minutes but we got ourselves back in the game so going on previous encounters it's going to be a nice, tight encounter again."

Cronk will lining up against a former Storm star in Brett Kimmorley, who has been instrumental in the Sharks' surge this season.

But the Melbourne No.7 wasn't going to spend too much time worrying about what Kimmorley, who has signed with the Bulldogs for next season, might throw at them.

"He's obviously an integral part of what they do, a pivotal point of their attack and their direction," Cronk said of his rival.

"He's playing great footy, a focal point of what they do and we're going to have to be on our game when he's running the ball and passing.

"But we're not too worried about what they're going to throw at us. One thing we've learnt through the back-end and previous seasons is that you've got to get your own backyard in order first.

Storm fullback Billy Slater said his side's performance against Brisbane was below par and they needed to lift if they were to replicate last year's grand final success.

"We were a bit scrappy against Brisbane so we're going to have to step it up a notch.

"We'll do a lot of homework on them but need to get ourselves right.

"We haven't been playing our best football over the last couple of weeks and know that we can play better and will need to."

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