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Next year can wait as Storm celebrate

By Steve Jancetic 05/10/2009 07:20:13 AM Comments (0)

Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith will allow the euphoria of his side's NRL premiership triumph to sink in before contemplating the possibility of the Storm continuing their recent dominance.

The Storm made it two wins from four consecutive grand final appearances with a 23-16 win over Parramatta at ANZ Stadium on Sunday, a victory which cemented their standing as the team of the decade.

With minimal disruptions to their playing roster for next season the Storm are well placed to make it five straight deciders, but Smith said that could wait for another day.

"We've been asked this question after every grand final - we won't know until next year," Smith said.

"We're always going to have high expectations on ourselves and I'm sure the coach will, but it's his job to get us prepared for next year."

While happy to right the wrongs of last year's 40-0 grand final loss to Manly, Smith said the side had proved its desire to overcome adversity during a tough regular season campaign.

"At the start of the year with the turnover of players that we had, there wasn't much expectation on us," Smith said.

"A lot of things did happen through the year, things on the field weren't going as smoothly as we would have liked but I think it shows the character that this side has and the mental strength we've built up .... no matter what happens, no matter what is put in front of us, we just keep fighting."

The win capped a brilliant day for the club with the Storm's Toyota Cup side taking out the under 20s title with a 24-22 win over Wests Tigers.

"To have our club in a foreign land down there in Melbourne win two titles is a huge wrap for our club, a huge wrap for the people in our club and a huge wrap for the systems and processes we use," coach Craig Bellamy said.

Parramatta coach Daniel Anderson said his club was simply outplayed by a better side, but claimed the building blocks were there to capitalise on in 2010.

"Obviously we're very disappointed but I don't think these boys understand how much they captured western Sydney and even Sydney's attention in the last few weeks," Anderson said.

"We've definitely got the players that can make a statement next season, but I don't want to talk about next season.

"Next season will be next season, we'll be ready to go when it comes but it's hard to think too much beyond tonight."

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