Storm braced for fiery clash with Sharks
Clashes between the Storm and Sharks normally get the emotions flowing.
Whether it was the drought-breaking 2016 grand final win by Cronulla or the spiteful round four game this year, there's usually plenty of feeling between the sides.
But this week Storm coach Craig Bellamy has had to temper the emotions of his squad after Billy Slater announced 2018 will be his last in the NRL.
"It has been a strange week or a different week," Bellamy said.
"The guy has been a superstar of the game and (someone like that) doesn't retire every week. It has been a little emotional I suppose, more than anything else, more so for the guys that have been here a long time.
"It was going to happen at some stage, and we all hoped it wasn't going to happen this year, that he could go another year. Having said that, whatever Billy and Nicole decided was right for them, that was the right thing for us."
On the field, there's plenty to work on for Melbourne after their stuttering loss against the Rabbitohs.
"Last week, our completions and our control of the ball was really poor in the second half," Bellamy said.
"We managed the game poorly. Even when we had a good set, we put a really poor kick on the end of it. We need to get that part right. We lost that game last week in the first 20 minutes of the second half. We can't do that against good teams, and the Sharks are a really good team."
Cronulla have endured an injury-plagued season with Josh Dugan, Matt Moylan, Luke Lewis and Paul Gallen spending time in the casualty ward this year, but all line up to face the Storm on Sunday.
"They're a very experienced side," Bellamy said.
"There's usually something that happens in our games against Cronulla that sort of stands out a little bit. Sometimes that's good, sometimes that's not so good. I'd imagine it would be the same tomorrow."
The Sharks their last meeting in a penalty-marred match but Bellamy hasn't felt a need to lecture his players on the need to maintain discipline.
"In the forefront of our mind is what we need to do, and that's what we're focused on," he said.
"If there's some other things happening, sometimes that's going to be a reactionary response."