Kite blueprint to flying over Storm
Penrith's resident sage Brent Kite has spent the past 12 years making the relatively hard look relatively simple – yes, even for front-rowers - but this one probably takes the lot.
Now that he's left the northern beaches for the foot of the mountains, the former Sea Eagles prop has come out and unveiled the secret to Manly's success against Melbourne.
By success though, we mean winning more than half of their past 10 games, making their 5-4 (and one draw) record the best of any team against the Storm in the NRL.
And according to Kite, it's not about what happens during those fateful 80 minutes you have against them on the weekend. Anyone can get up for that.
What you need to do to beat Melbourne, he says, is to beat them on Monday. And on Tuesday. And again on Wednesday. And again on, well, you get his drift.
"I think in some ways, it's easy to get up for a big game. Emotionally, you want to play well," he said.
"They test you in all areas, so preparing well on the training paddock and just going out there with the confidence that you've done everything you can to get on the park and have a good showing."
The Storm once again showed ridiculous mental strength to come back from a 20-0 deficit at Brookvale and secure a one-point win in golden time, all with the services of a halfback (Ben Roberts) that is supposed to be enjoying blossom season in Japan.
While it's often been said that you don't win premierships in March, Kite described Penrith's season-opening win over Newcastle as being just as important as the two points available in August.
"They're worth the same amount of points as the ones in the back end of the year. There's always a mad rush for spots in that top eight and further up the ladder [so it's] good to come away with the win for sure," he said.
But he also re-iterated the message the club's been preaching all along: The bar has been raised this year, and it's time to join the rugby league elite.
"They'll be a great test for us, Melbourne. We're a club on the improve," he said.
"Obviously you look at teams like Melbourne, Manly and the two Sydney teams [the Roosters and Rabbitohs] that have had success in recent years, and what Melbourne showed last week is true professionalism.
"They play every play and regardless of the scoreboard, they'll keep coming at you and that's something we'd love to get in our game. Over the years, we probably haven't been the most consistent, but this'll be a good test for us against those guys."