Waqa desperate for a win in Melbourne farewell
Sisa Waqa will step onto AAMI Park for what will likely be the last time in a purple jersey on Sunday.
Win or lose, the Storm's elimination final against the Bulldogs will be Waqa's final home game in front of the fans who have built him into a cult hero. The mild-mannered Fijian flyer has repaid the love with scintillating highlights over his four years in Melbourne.
The 28-year-old signed a two-year deal in July to join the Raiders at season's end and will depart the Storm as their leading try scorer of 2014.
While Melbourne's season has hung in limbo over the past fortnight, so to has the curtain over Waqa's time at AAMI Park. The club has spoken constantly of the loss that will be felt both on and off the field when Waqa and favourite son Ryan Hoffman depart at the end of the year.
A tribute video was played for the pair after last Friday night's win over the Broncos with the departures also being a point of emphasis for the playing group.
"Yeh it was, especially for someone like Hoffy – he's been around for 11 or 12 years and that is a long time for someone at a club," said Waqa.
"We did speak about it but we need to make sure we prepare well as individuals so the team can perform on the weekend.
"It is a big week for us as a club, it is an exciting time of the season as we come into finals football and we are looking forward to it."
The Storm heads into the finals as one of the NRL's in-form sides having won six of their past eight games, and after crossing for 17 tries so far this year Waqa admits he is desperate to finish his time with the club on the ultimate high.
"It would mean a lot if we can with the GF this year," said Waqa.
"It is tough for us as a team but now we are here and we need to make sure we are doing the little things well to prepare each game at a time.
"It is a massive game, not only for myself but for the team. We need to win."