Storm won't settle for second best in NRL
Melbourne are adopting a do-or-die mentality as they prepare to host Canberra in Saturday's NRL qualifying final at AAMI Park, eager to put their stamp on the play-offs.
The Storm had their first session of the week on Tuesday after taking a few days off to freshen up after capping their regular season schedule with a big final round win over North Queensland.
Star five-eighth Cameron Munster, who missed the Cowboys with a shoulder injury, trained and will line up in the week one of the finals.
Melbourne vice-captain Dale Finucane said that despite finishing in the top four to earn a second life, the minor premiers didn't want to use it.
"Although we get two opportunities, you need to bring that mentality that it's do or die and I think everyone will have that this weekend," the lock said.
"You don't want to leave anything out on the field."
Melbourne were still smarting from their round 22 clash with the Raiders, where the visitors piled on 22 unanswered points to claim a surprise two-point win.
Finucane said they had already done their homework on their opponents and would keep a tight leash on in-form prop Josh Papalii, who scored the match-winning try.
Crafty English hooker Josh Hodgson, who stripped the ball that led to the try, has also been under scrutiny.
"Josh Papalii is having a really good year for them, - he's been playing well since Origin," Finucane said.
"He and Dunamis Lui have been going really well to get their game off a good start."
The final will 28-year-old Finucane's 19th, having already been a part of the play-offs each year since his NRL debut with the Bulldogs in 2012.
That's the second most finals experience in the Storm line-up, along with prop Jesse Bromwich, while skipper Cameron Smith has played in an incredible 36 finals.
Five Melbourne players, including exciting backs Ryan Papenhuyzen and Justin Olam, will make their NRL finals debut.
"I've been lucky to play in the finals in all the years I've played first grade but it's definitely not something I take for granted," the NSW Origin forward said.
"Just because I've been involved my whole career it doesn't take the shine off."
© AAP 2019