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Emotion won't get to Cronk in final playoff run, says Slater

Storm legend Billy Slater doesn’t expect former team-mate Cooper Cronk to get caught up in the emotion of Saturday’s preliminary final potentially being his last game in the NRL.

The Roosters halfback will retire at the end of the season and will be hoping he can extend his career one more week with a win over the club he called home for 14 years.

“I’m sure he’s not approaching it as his last game,” Slater told Big League.

“I don’t think there’ll be a whole heap made about Cooper playing the Storm again because there’s so much more at stake for both teams.

“They’re in amazing form and they’ve hit their straps at the right time. Melbourne played the best that they’ve played all year against Parramatta, so wow, I think this will be a grand final come a week early.”

The ledger is locked at one win apiece between the Roosters and Storm after a couple of epic clashes in the regular season, and both teams are in red-hot form.

The defending premiers blew South Sydney off the park a fortnight ago while Melbourne atoned for their first-up loss with a 32-0 shutout of the Eels, and Slater is expecting big things at the SCG on Saturday.

“When you finish in the top four, you’ve got to win three games in a row to lift the trophy. The Storm got the advantage of not performing to their best in the first week but still having the chance to win three and hold that premiership up,” he said.

“They bounced back against Parramatta to book their spot in a preliminary final but they’ll face a Roosters side who had the chance to freshen up after the week off. They’ll have a full tank of gas to call upon and they know who they’ve got so they can prepare as well as anyone because they’ve had double the time.”

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