Storm's light prep for Cowboys challenge
Townsville's tropical climes are a stark contrast to Melbourne's chilly winter, but the Storm know they won't get a warm welcome when they meet the Cowboys on Friday night.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy says the team has only had a light training run so far and acknowledged the challenge of playing in the far north.
"It's always tough to play up there," he said.
"[They are] obviously a lot different conditions. Our last away game was in Canberra, four-to-six [degrees]. It’s a long way to go – a five-day turnaround – we've had to look at our preparation really thoroughly.
"We only trained for 40 minutes yesterday, and it was a very light session. We had a chance to rest some of our guys with high work rates (against the Sea Eagles on Sunday), like Dale [Finucane] and 'Jess' (Jesse Bromwich). With that game and how it went during the second half, hopefully it will help us on Friday as well."
Bellamy couldn’t fault his players after big win against Manly, but he's professed to his squad how important the remaining matches are in the lead-up to the finals.
"There's always a chance of a let-down but hopefully these guys understand how important every game is now. What we do in the games between now and the end of the year will come out at the end of the year. We'll hopefully have some good habits come September."
The Storm leads the competition with dummy-half runs, but isn't something the team has focused on specifically, Bellamy said.
"We sometimes get the opportunity to do that – to have quick play of the balls. Cameron [Smith] had a whole heap on them last week. That's a good sign if he's coming out there and making some metres."
In team news, Ryley Jacks comes into five-eighth ahead of the injured Cameron Munster (ankle) who will miss the interstate trip. Fullback Jahrome Hughes is also an option in the halves.
"We had one quick training session and tried both of them (Jacks and Hughes)," Bellamy said.
"Jahrome hasn’t played much there, to be quiet honest, and Ryley has. We'll have a look at them at training tomorrow and go from there.
"Our idea was we'll see Munster playing in the halves later in the year, so we'd like to try and keep him there as much as possible. Ryley had last week off. With a five-day turnaround, he's going to be fresh for this game."
Second-rower Tohu Harris is still recovering from a shoulder injury and will be at least a couple of weeks away.