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After a resounding win over the Sydney Roosters last week Melbourne Storm will use this week's bye as a chance to freshen up and prepare for the remaining seven games of the home and away season.
The Storm will go into camp tomorrow (Thursday) with the entire squad relocating to Sorrento on the Victorian coast for two days. The players will spend a day at HMAS Cerberus in preparation for a charge to the finals.
The change of routine was offered as incentive to the players last week, while a loss to the Roosters would have prompted a heavy week on the training track.
“The win against the Roosters has sort of set us up to have the coming weekend off and freshen up,” said Storm coach Mark Murray.
“Then we have a seven game run-in to the last round, so it gives us a good shot in the build up to the finals.
“The bye gives you the opportunity to do things a little bit differently, so we're going to mix it up a little bit with some fun activities and a little bit of hard work.”
“We don't have a game sitting on our shoulders so we can physically go a bit harder as well. By the end of the week we just want to have a really strong focus about the next seven games coming up.”
The bye also provides the opportunity to rest players in readiness for the round 20 match against Penrith, with Robbie Kearns (ankle) and Robbie Ross (calf) expected to make their return from injury.
One player that won't be returning from injury against the Panthers is winger Matt Geyer.
Geyer was recovering today after a plate was inserted in his broken collarbone yesterday and is optimistic of playing again this year.
“I just want to get past the operation and then see how it (collarbone) feels, hopefully if it's right I can come back before the end of the season proper,” Geyer said.
Murray believes Geyer's injury leaves the door open for 23-year-old Semi Tadulala to make his mark on the wing.
“He (Geyer) could get back before the season proper finishes, but hopefully we'll be in a playoff situation and he'll be a chance to see some footy then,” explained Murray.
“With Matt's injury Semi gets the opportunity to stay there (on the wing) for a while, so it'll be good to see how he progresses over the following weeks.”
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James Avery: Phone (03) 9421 3222 Mobile: 0411 623 024 [email protected]