Smith, Cronk ready for finals lead-in
Cameron Smith says he and Cooper Cronk are itching to get back into full time-training with the Storm, after both players enjoyed some time off from the club over the past two months.
With the hectic State of Origin schedule taking a lot out of the star Queenslander duo, both haven't had a full week of trianing with their club side since the start of the Origin series but Smith said the pair were still in good shape and ready to lead the team into the finals.
"For myself personally, and I believe Cooper is in quite good shape physically, Craig [Bellamy] and the other coaches have given us quite a few days off training through the Origin period and the last few weeks just to freshen up physically and mentally, and I'm feeling really good. I'm really looking forward to the last part of this season and the finals as well," Smith said.
"Cooper and I have spoken to the coaches over the last week, and we're really looking forward to getting back with the squad now full-time.
"It's been nearly two months since we've trained regularly with the squad, and that sort of brings a lack of cohesion in our games, and you may have seen that in our games over the last few weeks with our attack.
"It's really important now that there's only five games before finals, and we've got a tough run home… so we need to be playing our best every week to win those matches, and Cooper and I need to be playing well."
The Storm currently sit in second place and are one point behind the league-leading Sharks, with both sides set to battle it out for top spot over the remaining five rounds.
While most clubs will strive for the minor premiership, Smith has said the Storm were more focused on performing consistently in the lead-up to the finals.
"[The minor premiership] hasn't been spoken about at all. You speak to Craig every year and there's not a real focus on where we want to finish," Smith said.
"Obviously it'd be very nice to finish as high as we can, but there's no goal on winning the minor premiership. The table will look after itself if we keep playing well.
"Our mindset hasn't changed all year, even more so mow that we're getting close to finals. We're five weeks away from the first final but we haven't though too much about that, it's all about trying to improve each week."
During Tuesday morning's press conference, the skipper was modelling the jersey the Storm will wear on Saturday night for the NRL's Women in League Round.
The occasion of the round is not lost on Smith, who spoke fondly of the women who have made the game what it is today.
"Women are an integral part of our game, it starts from all of our mothers when we were kids taking us to all of our junior football games, and also referees, supporters, volunteers," Smith said.
"We've got some referees and touch judges in our league games now as well as administration roles as well, so it's a very important part of our game, particularly moving forward."
Both the Storm and the Rabbitohs will be supporting Ovarian Cancer Australia during the game, with the OCA logo to be displayed on the front of both teams' jerseys.