There may be some hope for the Storm with retaining Kevin Proctor after veteran forward Ryan Hoffman announced he had signed with the Warriors.

Hoffman exit gives Storm Proctor hope

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy is shattered to have lost Storm favourite son Ryan Hoffman but is hopeful his departure to the Warriors means the club can now hold on to Kevin Proctor.

Kiwi Test back-rower Proctor has received offers from the Warriors, Roosters, Dragons and Raiders and the 25-year-old’s management has given the Storm until next Monday to put forward their final offer.

Proctor’s youth perhaps makes him more valuable to the Storm going forward than the departing Hoffman, but it will not be easy for the coach to see the 30-year-old in different colours next season.

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“It is hard for me to believe that he is not going to finish his career here,” Bellamy said.

“He has been an integral part of what we have done here. I can’t remember being involved with a better clubman than Ryan Hoffman.

“You’d like to think that with Hoffy deciding to go we’d be in a better position to hold onto Kevin but some of the figures I’ve heard getting bandied around, I’m not sure where we stand there.”

Get your ticket to NRL Round 9

While it has been a big week for Melbourne off the field, their greatest rival – Manly - will be waiting for them at AAMI Park come Saturday.

The Sea Eagles are aiming for their 10th successive finals appearance this season, while the Storm have played in five of the past eight grand finals.

They have met in two grand finals themselves this past decade and have finished in the top four in each of the past three seasons.

George Rose mentioned earlier this week that “both teams hate each other” and in this case the hate has spawned partly out of mutual admiration and whilst also out of a desire to oust the other as top dog.

On Saturday night these two teams will meet with Manly in their customary second spot on the ladder while the Storm sits in tenth, among the pack it has long distanced itself from. However regardless of ladder position, history suggests on-field fireworks will ensue at AAMI Park.

“We have played each other in some big games and even in the competition games there seems to be something that happens that leads to memories,” Bellamy said.

“They are a tremendously resilient team the Sea Eagles and we’d like to think we are a bit like that as well but we just need to show it a bit at the moment.”

With a 4-4 record, the home side perhaps has more at stake in this Round 9 clash than their opponents in what could prove a pivotal game as the men in purple aim to put themselves back ahead of the ledger.

All four of Melbourne’s wins this season have come at a combined 14 points, while on the flip side its past three losses have amounted to just 10 points in total.

“I don’t think we are that far away at all,” said Bellamy.

“We are [close] to being there with the top teams but we are also [close] to being there with the bottom teams. We just need to get more consistent in some little areas in our game and I’m sure we can turn that around.

“We are just treading water at the moment but we need to start swimming, if we don’t we are going to sink.”

Should they lose to Manly on Saturday night and slump to a fifth defeat in six matches, there will certainly be a sinking feeling sweeping through the purple crowd at AAMI Park.