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Melbourne found themselves in strange waters late Sunday afternoon.

Having just stepped of the training track, the playing group preceded to huddle around and watching the thrilling conclusion to the Sharks-Sea Eagles game.

The Storm were relying on arch rivals Manly to pull off an upset win in order to secure a top-four spot, which left them in a strange situation.

"We were training at that time so we caught the back end of it, the last 15 minutes. We sat around watching it and were cheering for the Sea Eagles, which is a bit foreign for us," Storm lock Ryan Hinchcliffe said.

"It was strange, very, very strange. It was a bit weird sitting around watching the game there towards the end and cheering and barracking for Manly. 

"It didn't quite feel right but they won the game and luckily for us we finished in that top four spot."


Hinchcliffe was a stand-in for Cameron Smith at Monday's NRL Finals Launch as the Storm skipper battles a virus.

Although he did not train on Sunday the club is confident the skipper will be fit for Friday night's Qualifying final against Sydney, who on the weekend secured their third consecutive minor premiership.

The Roosters carry a red-hot form line into the finals having won 12 straight games but they will face a Storm side riding a wave of confidence after beating the Broncos at Suncorp last week.

"You need to be playing your best footy or else you get spat out the back door pretty quickly and there is not better test than against the Roosters on Friday night," Hinchcliffe said.

"The Roosters have shown they have been the form side of the competition in the second half of the year.

"We have been able to beat three of the top [five] sides in the last four weeks and not have too many points scored against us so we feel like we are going along okay but we know we are up against a different outfight [this week]."

Melbourne travel to Allianz Stadium to take on Sydney this Friday night at 7.55pm.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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