Finch says Storm ready for finals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Finch says Storm ready for finals

By Melissa Woods 04/09/2009 03:44:21 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne five-eighth Brett Finch believes the NRL premiership is there for the taking, with Saturday's final round clash against the New Zealand Warriors the first remaining hurdle for the Storm.

With frontrunners the Bulldogs losing key playmaker Brett Kimmorley with a fractured cheekbone and the Dragons, inconsistent, the fourth-placed Storm see the competition as wide open.

They take on the 14th-placed Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday night, in a game they must win to seal a top four play-off berth.

"Like all teams we sense that there's an opportunity to do something special because it's such a wide open race for the premiership," Finch said.

"We understand that if we execute well, complete our sets and perform the way we can, we're going to be as tough as any team to beat.

"I don't think there's any real warm favourite so hopefully we'll be one of the teams to give it a real good shake."

Taking on the lowly Warriors presents a tougher challenge than it appears, with the New Zealand side having won two and drawn one of their last three meetings between the two sides.

The home team are also farewelling favourite son, halfback Stacey Jones, who is retiring after 261 NRL matches.

Finch, who only joined the Storm mid-season from Parramatta, said he hadn't pinpointed why the Warriors had become a bogey side.

"I've only played them once and we had a draw.

"I understand they're a very tough team to prepare for cause sometimes you don't know what you're going to get with them.

"We understand it's a farewell game for Stacey Jones and the last home game for the year so they'll want to finish well.

"Stacey is a legend of the game over here and we're expecting them to put in a good performance."

With superstar centre Greg Inglis back in the ranks the Storm crushed the Sydney Roosters last round, and are looking to build on that performance with the finals next week.

Finch said he had noticed a lift in enthusiasm and energy at training.

A top four finish comes with a home final and given Melbourne's poor record away, losing their past four away and seven from 11 this season.

"Obviously every game has got plenty of significance about it but especially this one," Finch said.

"We need to win to secure that fourth position and get a home semi-final and we understand the reality of it all and that if we don't put in a good performance we can drop down to sixth or seventh and face sudden death.

"We know what's at stake and we understand we've got to put in a good performance."

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