The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Storm prop Robbie Kearns believes the Storm can be the team to bring Canberra?s unbeaten run to an end as Melbourne looks to keep its perfect 2003 home record intact this Saturday.
As the Storm prepares for its biggest game of the year thus far, Kearns says the Raiders can?t afford to take the home side lightly given its 40-point demolition of the Knights last week.
?For every win you have - particularly when you?re undefeated after eight rounds - you?re getting closer to a loss and we know that if we play as well as we did last week then they (Raiders) will have to play very well to beat us,? Kearns said.
?This is our biggest game so far this year with these guys going so well it?s really going to be a feather in the cap if we can knock them off.
?We?ve carried on this week from the excellent training we had last week and I know the guys are seeing this match for the challenge it is with great anticipation.?
Melbourne will be aiming to extend its 4-1 home record over the Raiders at Olympic Park this Saturday night (7.30pm) and Kearns is knows that the home ground advantage will be crucial.
?We are trying to get that home ground advantage back in a big way this year, it?s known as ?the Graveyard? and so far this year it?s been just that for travelling teams,? Kearns added.
?It?s a massive leg up when we get a big crowd behind us and I would like to think we will have plenty of support this weekend.
?We played our best football last week so by playing the undefeated leaders of the competition you couldn?t ask for a better game to follow that up.?
The clash between first and fourth will be even more interesting given the connection between the two clubs. Storm coach Craig Bellamy cut his teeth as both a player and as a coach with the Raiders, logging 148 games for Canberra throughout the eighties before coaching in various capacities in the nineties.
Similarly assistant coach Dean Lance was a premiership player with the Raiders during the eighties before turning his hand to coaching.
Even the Storm?s physical preparation coach Alex Corvo has a long history with the league leaders, having played with the club for six years before joining the coaching staff for two seasons.
?We?ve got a few guys in the club that have a past association with Canberra so there?s definitely a connection there. I think Craig (Bellamy) is still pretty close to a few players back there so I?m sure he would have been ringing them up and giving them a bit of a ribbing this week.?
STORM TRAINING THIS WEEK: Friday, 5pm - Olympic Park
For further information contact
James Avery: Phone (03) 9421 3222 Mobile: 0411 623 024 [email protected]