For The Melbourne Storm, Their Title Defence Begins Tonight Against The South Sydney Rabbitohs

As we wait for kickoff in the 2013 NRL finals series the defending champion Melbourne Storm have somehow managed to sneak under the radar.

At time this season the Storm have looked like clear cut premiership favourites. As always the Storm headed into the State Of Origin series looking a little off kilter as their best players looked towards bigger goals.

Coming out of the State Of Origin series the Storm looked a little rusty, they soon found their form again, before having a soft run into the finals that didn’t look all that impressive.

It’s a pattern that the Storm followed last season…

There was a point a few years ago where Craig Bellamy pushed the Storm hard through the entire NRL season. During those season the Storm looked unbelievable during the regular season, but they seemed to run out of steam later in the final series.

I believe Craig Bellamy took lessons from those season. I think we now see him trying to time the run of his team so they are at their best come the finals series.

Under the current finals system, the 3th placed team gets to play off for the chance to go straight into the semi finals. That week off in the second round of the finals series is money in the bank for a veteran team like the Melbourne Storm.

Tonight they face a South Sydney team coming off a tough loss to the Sydney Roosters. Losing the minor premiership showdown at home I believe will have rattled the Rabbitohs a little.

The Melbourne Storm know better than any other team what needs to be done at this time of the season. They know how to prepare physically and mentally. While we all see the Rabbitohs as a major contender this season, they haven’t got a proven background of finals success. A few of their players do. But for the most part the Rabbitohs squad haven’t got a great deal of finals success under their belt.

I have said all season that I expect the Storm and the Rabbitohs to play in the Grand Final. That is still possible.

I believe the Storm will win tonight’s game. The Rabbitohs are going to be very hard to beat at home, but you have to go with the more experienced team.

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