Warriors confident of stopping Storm - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors confident of stopping Storm

Steve Jancetic 17/09/2011 02:00:16 PM Comments (0)

Statistics may mean little, but they are enough to ensure the Warriors will head into next week's NRL preliminary final against Melbourne confident they can take down the minor premiers.

Few teams have troubled the Storm since their entry into the competition 13 years ago like the Warriors, one of only two teams to beat Melbourne on their home soil in 2011.

They booked another AAMI Park meeting with the purple machine courtesy of their heart-stopping 22-20 win over Wests Tigers in Friday night's semi-final, and it took little time for the Warriors to turn their attention to the looming battle.

"We've just got to stay positive, we earned the right to get there, we earned the right through the whole year," backrower Feleti Mateo said.

"We played them down there already and we probably like going down there - we're looking forward to playing them."

Since Melbourne's inception in 1998, only Canterbury boast a better record than the Warriors against the Storm.

Melbourne have won just 48 per cent of games against the Bulldogs, with the Warriors coming in next toughest with the Storm winning just 14 of their 28 contests.

The Victorian capital is also the scene of the Warriors' most famous upset - an 18-15 win over the Storm as they became the first eighth-ranked finalist to beat the minor premiers in the opening week of the finals in 2008.

Reminded of the Warriors' good record in Melbourne, Mateo said:

"I guess, but all the stats and everything that's happened before means nothing - we've just got to go down there and play hard.

"It's just a collective effort again, just like (against the Tigers).

"They had so much strike across the field and we just had to stick in there together.

"They exploited our middle a bit, the first half and the first 20 of the second half - we have to tighten that up otherwise Cameron Smith's going to destroy us.

"We let in some soft tries - Robbie Farah's try and Keith Galloway's tries were pretty soft - that's something that we pride ourselves in, we have to make it better."

The Warriors certainly did that to much better effect in the second half as they limited the Tigers to just the solitary penalty goal after trailing 18-6 at the break.

But good record or not, Cleary knows his side won't be able to afford the Storm as much leeway as they did the Tigers early in the game and hope to advance to the grand final.

"They're the minor premiers and they've been the best team this year," Cleary said of the Storm.

"They know how to win in finals, they've got three of the best players in the game and they've got a bunch of other guys that have played fantastically well all year.

"We have won there before but I certainly think we'll be outsiders."

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