Melbourne Storm forward Brandon Smith admits he will be out for revenge when his team takes on the Sydney Roosters in Saturday night's blockbuster preliminary final at the SCG.
Smith was part of the Storm side that was defeated 21-6 by the Roosters in last year's grand final and the Kiwi says he hasn't forgotten what happened on that day.
He knows nothing will ever completely make up for the disappointing loss, but believes a bit of revenge can be extracted if his side can defeat last year’s conquerors on Saturday.
"Considering it was my first grand final, it was not the fairytale I wanted happening," Smith told NRL.com.
"I didn’t even get on to the field until it was 14 or 16-0 ... it has made us that little bit hungrier to go out there and go that one better.
"Any game against the Roosters is an exciting game for us, just so we can get that revenge that we know we owe them."
Match: Roosters v Storm
Finals Week 3 -
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Smith played just 16 minutes of last year's premiership decider, but based on recent evidence it appears the likeable reserve forward will be given a larger role when the two teams meet this weekend.
The 23-year-old has averaged more than 50 minutes a game over the past month and the ongoing absence of long-term knee victim Christian Welch means Smith is now the self-anointed leader of the Storm bench.
"I bring energy on the field and hopefully I can instil energy on to the benchies for when they are ready to go," he said.
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"Last year I was getting 15-20 minutes (of game time), at the start of this year it improved to 20-25 and now I am getting 30-35, so I am happy with how he (Storm coach Craig Bellamy) has transitioned my minutes."
One player who won't be out on the field on Saturday night is Smith's close friend and fellow Kiwi Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, with the Roosters enforcer suspended for the big clash after being found guilty of tripping Rabbitohs centre James Roberts during the first week of the finals.
Smith believes the absence of Waerea-Hargreaves is a huge boost for his side, but said he was disappointed that his compatriot was missing out on such a big match.
"He is actually my roommate when we go away on Kiwi camp," Smith revealed.
"He is an unreal bloke and it is sad to see him missing out on a prelim final for a trip.
"But that's the rules the NRL has, so luckily for us he is not playing."