Storm visit Shrine of Remembrance
We often use words such as 'war,' 'battle' and 'sacrifice' to describe this game of rugby league.
Our favourite players are praised as 'heroes,' our departing ones are cast as 'traitors', however this week gives us all the chance to put it all in perspective and realise this game for what it is, just a game.
A game in which Melbourne and Manly have shared many a thrilling encounter, as they will again this Saturday, ANZAC Day, at AAMI Park.
In preparation for the momentous clash, the Storm playing group visited Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance on Monday.
"We did this a few years ago and it was quite a moving day actually," Storm captain Cameron Smith said as he stood in front of the Shrine.
"Not too many young guys know a whole lot about the ANZACs these days which is unfortunate.
"It is good to get a sense of what the day is about and what the ANZAC really means. You hear that ANZAC spirit all the time but you don't truly understand what it is all about until you see those pictures inside.
"I think we all like to sit down and reflect on the ANZACs and what they've done for this country but to be given the opportunity to play Rugby League on such a special day makes it that extra special."
The playing group was in full attendance except one notable absentee.
Halfback Cooper Cronk was relieved from his media duty by Smith as he remained at home due to what the skipper described as being "a bit fluey from the weekend."
Smith had no doubt his No.7 will be ready come Saturday but Cronk will remain under close observation as the week goes on.
It comes after the Storm completed a successful yet grueling schedule that saw them record three straight wins in just 13 days.
Their 5-2 record has them in top spot after seven rounds, with the best points differential in the competition.
They host bottom placed Manly who had their only win of the season against Melbourne in Round 2.
The visitors may be coming to town under manned and under scrutiny but they will receive no sympathy from the hometown captain.
"We are playing one of our biggest rivals in Manly so I guarantee there will be some fireworks again as there always is between the two clubs and it should be a great atmosphere on Saturday," Smith said.
"I'm sure they will be here to play their best game of footy all season as they always are against the Melbourne Storm so we are preparing that way as well.
"We were disappointed to lose that game at Brookvale but I think we've moved on from that and I think we've hit some pretty good form ourselves so we just need to keep building on that."
A huge crowd is expected on Saturday at AAMI Park with the Storm and Sea Eagles to kick things off at 6.15pm.
Video courtesy of MelbourneStorm.com.au