Melbourne Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen believes his side's qualifying final loss to the Raiders on Saturday night may prove to be a blessing in disguise.
The minor premiers fell to a 12-10 defeat to Canberra at AAMI Park to open their finals campaign and now have a tough path ahead to better last year's runner-up finish behind the Roosters.
The Storm now have a cut-throat match against the winner of Sunday's clash between the Eels and the Broncos and a preliminary final match-up against the Roosters awaits should they prove victorious.
But Papenhuyzen thinks the tough run ahead might work in the Storm's favour as it will allow them to build some valuable momentum as the finals progress.
"The good thing is we can roll into what is coming now," Papenhuyzen said.
"We don't have a week off so we can just charge that momentum back up.
"Whoever it is we will be ready and we’ve shown this year we can bounce back pretty good."
Match: Storm v Raiders
Finals Week 1 -
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
- Nine Network
- LIVE PASS
Papenhuyzen received a baptism of fire from the Raiders when making his finals debut on Saturday night and is sure to be targeted once again during the remainder of the post-season.
But instead of being concerned by that prospect, the 21-year-old says he will embrace the opportunity should he be placed under pressure.
"(Storm coach Craig) Bellamy came to me during the week and he gave me the heads up that Ricky Stuart teams love to bash the little bloke," Papenhuyzen noted.
"It's nothing different to what happened during the season, so I was ready for it and there was no excuse from that regard."
While Papenhuyzen failed to add to his eight tries for the season against the Raiders, he continued his excellent recent form by running for a team-high 184 metres.
But the dynamic youngster has high standards and said he wants to continue to find more ways to become a better player.
"I have got to be a bit smarter with my opportunities," he admitted.
"Last week was a good example. I ran for 300 metres but I personally didn't feel like I had a great game.
"It’s more about getting those 15 or 16 carries and making sure they are effective."