#ORIGIN | Rick's weekly column looks at whether the dead rubber's worth the hassle - and if it is, w...
94 mins ago
Former Melbourne winger Marcus Bai has warned the Storm it's now or never in their chase for a premiership after two years of domination.
Bai, who played in Melbourne's 1999 premiership triumph, said the players would struggle to mount another run at the title if forced to deal with a second consecutive Grand Final loss.
The Storm take on Manly at Telstra Stadium on Sunday, where they will look to atone for the disappointment of losing to Brisbane in the 2006 decider.
The Storm recovered from the disappointment of last year's grand final defeat to have a remarkable season, losing just three games.
Elsewhere, Manly captain Matt Orford says his side is ready to peak on Sunday, with the Sea Eagles full of confidence and momentum going into the decider with Melbourne.
Orford says the Sea Eagles have a lot of self belief in their game plans, structure and ability to be able to pull off an upset win over the minor premiers and title favourites. Manly beat Melbourne 13-12 earlier this season and Orford says last Saturday's 28-6 preliminary final win against North Queensland had provided the perfect injection of confidence for the biggest game of the year.
Manly winger Chris Hicks says he won't be bothered if Melbourne target him after declaring his injured ankle will be 100 per cent by Sunday.
Hicks says he'll be a certain starter after missing last Saturday's preliminary final win over North Queensland. The 30-year-old Warrington bound winger said he had feared his season was over when his ankle buckled in the Sea Eagles' qualifying final against South Sydney.
Melbourne fullback Billy Slater returned to full training yesterday, declaring his knee injury no problem. And in-form Storm prop Ben Cross, who is racing the clock to overcome a hamstring injury, will be given until Saturday to prove his fitness.