Destiny in Storm's hands for run home
The sun is beaming in Melbourne town, the grass is cut, the players are up and about.
You'd think finals time had already arrived at the Storm, and given the way things are looking down south you could understand if they wished it would hurry up and get here.
If Melbourne go into Monday night's game against Penrith as named it will be the third straight week the side will remain unchanged from 1 through to 12.
Apart from Ryan Hinchcliffe and Jordan McLean alternating between the lock position and bench and other minor personal changes on the interchange, this has been a largely settled team.
The result has been four wins from the last five for the Storm, who now sit just one win out of the top four.
A settled team was something the Storm could only dream about in the middle part of the season.
With every available option at five-eighth injured, along with Cooper Cronk's broken arm and Billy Slater's month-long absence with a crook shoulder, things were looking fairly bleak for the Victorian side.
Fast-forward two months and that same team has an almost fully fit squad to choose from heading into September.
"That has been nice, especially through Origin when we had a bad period," said Storm coach Craig Bellamy.
"We needed some good management there with injuries… but also some luck as well. The luck that probably wasn't with us earlier in the season it has come now so hopefully it will stay.
"It certainly helps, especially when you get your key position players playing consistently."
However with a set starting side comes the risk of complacency, something Bellamy is mindful of heading into a crucial final three games of the regular season.
"That continuity is really handy this time of year but we have got to make sure we don't get comfortable with that," said Bellamy.
"We have to make sure we train with the intensity we need to train at, having the same guys there all the time it can sometimes go against you as far as some guys thinking [a position] is theirs.
"They need to make sure they keep working hard and earning their spot in the team and deserving their place in the team and that is really important at this time of the year."
Melbourne will travel to Penrith to face a home side sitting in third spot on the ladder.
Currently two games behind the Panthers and a game behind the fourth-placed Roosters, the Storm's destiny is still in their own hands as they prepare to meet both teams in upcoming fixtures.
With an injury list looking relatively sparse and form on the upward curve, Melbourne are hoping to be a formidable prospect come the spring regardless of where they finish.