Hoffman tips tough wrestle with Raiders - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hoffman tips tough wrestle with Raiders

By Melissa Woods 16/05/2009 07:08:14 AM Comments (0)

Melbourne may have racked up an impressive record of 13 straight NRL victories over Canberra, but as second rower Ryan Hoffman points out, none was easy.

The teams clash on Monday night at Olympic Park as part of the NRL's Heritage round, when the Storm will be looking to protect a winning streak dating back to 2003.

Despite the run of success, Hoffman says they expect another hard-fought match against the Raiders.

"We've won all those games against them but the games have been really close," said Hoffman, whose father played for Canberra.

"It's been a real grind and a real arm wrestle.

"I remember when we played them last year in Canberra that was a really, really tough footy game and they scored the first couple of tries and we had to come from behind against them.

"They're a team that are very dangerous, not just because of the players they've got but the way they play footy, they're a very scrappy type of team who really make you fight for your points."

Like the side as a whole, Hoffman feels like he's hitting form, scoring his second try of the season in their 28-12 win over the Sydney Roosters last Monday night.

That was backing up from his representative call-up to County Origin, having played all three state Origin games for NSW last year.

"Personally I've been really happy with my form," he said.

"Each week I've felt like I've taken a step forward towards the form that I'm happy with, which sort of coincided with the team going well.

"We had a bit of a rough start as a team and I had a rough start myself but I'm happy with the way things are going and we're building on each week."

While praising the talents of young forwards Aiden Tolman and Kevin Proctor, now sidelined with a broken ankle, Hoffman said the return of representative forwards Brett White and Sika Manu had eased pressure on the pack while combinations were starting to click in the backline.

Currently sixth, the Storm can close the gap on the frontrunners with a number of top teams playing each other this weekend.

"To be quite honest I haven't looked at the ladder in I don't know how many weeks, so I don't know where we're standing.

"As a team we aren't looking at the ladder but coming up to rep footy we want to have some momentum going into that period so the more momentum we have and the confidence we have, the better for the side."

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