Melbourne pack leader Jesse Bromwich says the Storm need to make an early statement in their NRL qualifying final against the Sydney Roosters on Friday night.
The fourth-placed Storm take on the minor premiers at Allianz Stadium and the Kiwi Test prop says Melbourne need to start with all guns blazing.
“That’s where they’ve won most of their games; in the first 20-minute period,” Bromwich said.
“You saw it last week against the Rabbitohs in the first 30 minutes or so, so it’s definitely very important for us to turn up with the right attitude and start the game hard.”
The Storm have built confidence over the last two rounds of the season, limiting the Broncos and Cowboys, both ranked above them, to just two tries between them with some superb defensive work.
While they have built some momentum, Bromwich said they were treating the finals campaign like a whole new season.
“It’s been confidence-building (wins over North Queensland and Brisbane) but finals is a different season,” he said.
“Everybody turns up to play and if we don’t turn up we’ll be gone.”
As a top-four team the loser will get another chance but Bromwich said the Storm didn’t want to take that mindset into the match and hoped to make the most of their unexpected opportunity which came off the back of the Sharks’ shock loss.
“It’s massive having the double chance because last year we were knocked out in the first round,” he said.
“Hopefully we’re not looking to use that double chance here and we’ll put in a good performance on Friday night.”
The Storm were thrashed 28-4 by the Bulldogs in last year’s elimination final but Bromwich said there were other motivating factors as well as last year’s disappointment.
“Off the back of last year I’d say we’d be pretty motivated but what’s motivating me at the moment is we’ve got someone like Hinchy (Ryan Hinchcliffe) leaving the club and we want to try and send him out on the best note we can so I’ll definitely be putting my best foot forward for him.”