Balance key to Storm's week off: Bellamy
After his team earned a week off with a 16-10 qualifying final win over North Queensland last Saturday, Storm coach Craig Bellamy is now deciding what to do with it.
Melbourne were in the same position last season before losing to the Cowboys in the preliminary finals, and Bellamy is determined to make sure their preparation over the next 10 days is more effective than it was in 2015.
Following the Storm's latest win Bellamy said he and his staff had already planned out how to attack the break, but just hoped his side was able to stick to those plans without making too many changes.
"You put a bit of time into planning and hopefully you get the plan right, but sometimes you've got to make adjustments to that," Bellamy said.
"We've put a lot of thought into it and hopefully we have got it right.
"We've given them a little bit more time off earlier this week, but basically from now on it'll be business as usual to be honest. We'll have a good session on Saturday, give them Sunday off again and then it'll be a normal week."
Bellamy knows it's easier said than done when it comes to giving players time off during the week, as some players need more rest than others.
"Sometimes you worry about missing that week and having it dent your momentum, but we've been pretty good the last two games and we'd like to keep that going," he said.
"But having said that it is a week where you can take it a bit easier and that'll be to your benefit too, so we've just got to find the right balance there.
"Especially for some of our players who have had long seasons like Cooper [Cronk] and Cameron [Smith], they've played every game and an Origin series as well.
"Jesse [Bromwich], Tohu [Harris], Blake Green and Kevin Proctor, they've played a whole heap of footy this year so we want to try and individualise it all this week and hopefully have everyone on board and reasonably fresh next week."
Melbourne will have to wait until late on Saturday night to find out who their opponent will be in next Saturday's preliminary final, as the Raiders and Panthers do battle at GIO Stadium this weekend.
For his part, Bellamy found it tough to pick a winner between Canberra and Penrith.
"At this time of the year, anyone can beat anyone," Bellamy said.
"Those two teams have had some long winning runs. Canberra won 10 in a row until they got beat last week and the Panthers have won six in a row, so they're both in really good form.
"I suppose I've got a little bit of a soft spot for Canberra as that's where I played, but having said that the game can go any way, so we'll just sit back and see and at about 9.30 on Saturday night we'll know who we're playing."