Warriors expect Finch to play for Storm - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors expect Finch to play for Storm

By Melissa Woods 24/04/2009 07:07:59 PM Comments (0)

The New Zealand Warriors are expecting Melbourne star recruit Brett Finch to play in their Anzac Day clash despite the Storm refusing to confirm him in the line-up.

Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk said he couldn't comment about Finch's inclusion for the Olympic Park showdown after the former Parramatta Eel was left out of the initial squad.

But Warriors coach Ivan Cleary said he wouldn't be surprised to see the ex-Origin half run out.

"I think he's probably a good chance," he said of Finch.

"They've bought him and they haven't bought him to sit and watch. I guess it's going to be pretty soon, and it wouldn't surprise me if he plays."

The Storm's attacking woes have left them with only three wins from six starts this season, using Greg Inglis, Cameron Smith and James Maloney at five-eighth with mixed results.

However Storm fullback Billy Slater warned that Finch wasn't the answer to all his side's problems.

"Not having a concrete No.6 hasn't been our biggest problem, it's dropping the ball and giving away penalties," Slater said.

"Brett isn't going to solve that kind of thing, he isn't the answer for everything.

"He's certainly going to help us in some departments but we need to keep working on our game and keep improving otherwise we'll be in the same position at the end of the year as we are now.

"Having him in the team isn't all of a sudden going to make us the best team in the comp."

Currently in seventh place, the Storm next face two tough away matches and have the Origin period looming, where they lose several of their stars.

However Cronk didn't feel it was desperate times.

"We, as players and as a club, want to get to where we were before in previous years but desperate is not a word we would use," he said.

"We're definitely eager and keen to play the way that we want to be playing and we're forever trying to do the things right to get us to a position where we think we should be."

The Warriors have pin-pointed their start as an area to improve, although their recent record against the Storm is impressive, winning two of their last three visits to Melbourne's "fortress", Olympic Park.

Utility Lance Hohaia said the Warriors had talked about the need to hit the ground running.

"We spoke about being a bit more pro-active in the way we start our matches and not waiting to see what other sides do - throwing the first punch, you could say," he said.

"It's hard if you let any team be two or three tries ahead at halftime."

Cronk agreed.

"There's something with the game this year, the start has become more crucial.

"The game's been played at either end of the football field and if you can get on top early and continue that momentum for the first 40 it's pretty hard to peg back."

Meanwhile, injured fullback Wade McKinnon travelled to Australia with the squad on Thursday, although Cleary said it was unlikely he would be a late call-up.

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