Storm focused against emotional Broncos
The Brisbane Broncos may be struggling to get their heads around what has been a whirlwind week, but their opponents this week have touched down in Brisbane with minds firmly on taking the points back home to Victoria.
Melbourne will look to make it seven straight wins against Brisbane on Friday night and in doing so leapfrog the Broncos in the top eight.
For all the off-field talking points that will surround the build-up to this game, its importance in the race to finals football remains paramount.
The sixth-placed Broncos will be looking to record back-to-back wins for the first time since early June after a poor mid-season period that has seen them win just one of their past four games.
That run has allowed the Storm to draw level on 20 premiership points making Friday night's game a season-defining moment for both clubs.
Brisbane has rallied around out-going coach Anthony Griffin this week in the wake of news Wayne Bennett will return to the club in 2015, with all eyes to be on the mindset of the Broncos players come kick-off time.
But while those at Red Hill have gone through a week that is sure to still have heads spinning, Storm veteran Bryan Norrie says it has been business as usual in the southern state.
"There has been a bit going on up here but we are up for a tough game regardless of what has been going on," said Norrie.
"They have spoken really highly of their coach… but we are just concentrating of what we have got to do.
"We have to concentrate on worrying about ourselves because when something like this happens to a club it can get a team firing even more and I have no doubt that is probably what will happen this week."
The Storm have tweaked their line-up slightly following last week's win over Canberra with Ryan Hinchcliffe named to start at lock in place of Jordan McLean.
Make of that move what you will though as the same one was made last week before McLean retook his place in the starting side an hour before kick-off against the Raiders. For Melbourne, a hard-fought 4-6 defeat to the Bulldogs a fortnight ago was backed up by a runaway 28-14 win over the Raiders.
The improvement the Storm have made since the always troublesome Origin period has the club feeling good about their prospects for the remainder of 2014.
"Definitely, we always have the strong belief that we are going to do well this year," said Norrie.
"Obviously we have been a little bit inconsistent during the year which has been a real issue for us.
"The last two weeks our defence has really picked up and it was good to get a few points last week so we have been tweaking our attack.
"It is also good to have the stability of the boys back from Origin too, that always helps."
Recent history suggests this will be a Friday night nail-biter with an average margin of less than four points separating these two teams in their last five meetings at Suncorp Stadium.
The build-up to this one has all the emotion, history, talent and off-field intrigue we could ask for – here's hoping the football can deliver.