Break just what the Storm needed: Hinchcliffe
A reprieve during the Representative Round may prove to be just what the Melbourne Storm needed in order to turn their season around.
Prior to last week's break the Storm lost four of their past five matches, leaving them with a 4-4 record – their worst ledger after eight rounds since 2004.
Melbourne's season appeared to reach new lows when they were defeated by the Warriors 10-16 in front of a sold-out home crowd on Anzac Day.
Confidence was understandably flat following the Round 8 loss, but lock forward Ryan Hinchcliffe says the chance to get away from the club may prove to be the best remedy.
"I can only speak personally for myself but coming in today I was bouncing in and certainly felt good at training today," Hinchcliffe said.
"I was able to go home back to Tamora for a few days and certainly my body appreciated having a few days off, but it's back to business and looking forward to Manly this Saturday.
"It is a good start to the week and I hope the boys are feeling the same."
The Storm would love nothing better than to turn their season around against archrivals Manly on Saturday night.
Their chances rose significantly on Monday with the news key Sea Eagles playmaker Daly Cherry-Evans was in doubt to make the trip to Melbourne as he battles a calf strain.
The Sea Eagles are confident the 25-year-old will play however and their hosts are taking a similar approach to the halfback's prospects.
"We will be preparing as if he is playing absolutely. He's a very dangerous player," Hinchcliffe said.
"He has been in some great form for them this season."
Despite the possible absence of Cherry-Evans and Manly's raft of injury worries heading into the Round 9 clash, rivalries such as this tend to throw up plenty of surprises. As was the case in Round 1 when these two teams met and the Storm overcame a 20-point deficit to snatch the win via a Cameron Smith drop goal.
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If the second 2014 installment of this rivalry is anywhere near as good as the first we can expect another memorable Melbourne-Manly meeting.
"Whenever we are playing Manly it is always a tough game, no matter who is playing for them and who is playing for us," said Hinchcliffe.
"They are a really quality side and are in some really good form.
"Last time they played they put a big score on the Raiders so they are a really dangerous outfit."
The Storm will host the second-placed Sea Eagles at 7.30pm on Saturday night at AAMI Park.