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If this weekend doesn’t go as he hopes Ryan Hoffman’s career with the Storm could be over.
Melbourne will host Brisbane in what shapes as a possible elimination final that has arrived a week early.
The fifth-placed Storm are a win away from a top-four finish should Penrith fall to the Warriors. However a defeat and a string of unfavourable results could see them knocked out of the top eight altogether.
That would be a stunning end to Hoffman’s time with Melbourne with the veteran to join the Warriors at season’s end on a three-year deal.
Despite the possibility that Friday’s game could be the 30-year-old’s last, he refuses to think worst-case scenario.
“I have not let that creep in because we have so much to do for Melbourne, Sisa’s in the same boat,” said Hoffman.
“All those things are basically a sideshow to doing what we want to do which is basically to get in the finals and play well in the finals.”
The Storm had a chance to cement their spot in the top eight last week but surrendered three tries in the final 16 minutes as they fell to the Roosters 24-12.
Despite the disappointing result there were some positives to take out of the performance for the Victorian side.
“I thought we played really well through the majority of the game but there was just a period there where our errors allowed the Roosters back in,” said Hoffman.
“Against a very strong Roosters team we defended really well so we will be taking those positives out.”
The loss has set up a crucial Friday night meeting with the Broncos at AAMI Park.
Brisbane are clinging to 8th spot, equal on points with the Cowboys (7th) and Warriors (9th).
History is on Melbourne’s side, having dropped only four games to their northern rivals since 2004.
“The Broncos need to win and we need to win so it is shaping up as a great encounter,” said Hoffman.
“Having a finals-type atmosphere leading into it, especially against a team who we’ve had a great rivalry against will hold us in great stead.”