Storm second-rower Felise Kaufusi feels for the Broncos but won't afford them any sympathy on Friday night when besieged playmaker Brodie Croft faces his former side.
Croft played 39 games for Melbourne over four seasons but was released at the end of last year after being dropped before the finals.
The 23-year-old, who has been shifted from halfback to five-eighth to allow Tom Dearden to wear the No.7, has copped plenty of criticism as a result of the Broncos losing seven of their past eight matches.
But Kaufusi knows Croft's ability well and is wary of him and his teammates roaring to life in response to last week's 48-0 drubbing by the Wests Tigers.
"You don't want to read into that [form]. As soon as you do, I think that's when they'll catch you off guard," Kaufusi said on Thursday.
The halfway mark: Try of the year
"We know what type of side they've got on paper. Their roster, individually, they're ready to fire. I'm sure they'll be up for the game this week. For sure [I feel for them] mate, but we've got to look in our own backyard first and foremost.
"I don't want to be harsh or anything, but we don't want to be the team that plays them into form."
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy also voiced his support for Croft in the lead-up to the clash at Suncorp Stadium.
"The one thing I know with Brodie is he's a really hard worker and whatever the team needs of him, that's what he tries to do," he said.
"He's a wonderful team player ... With what's happening at the Broncos, it wouldn't be because Brodie Croft is lacking work ethic.
"I think when teams do go through a bit of a form slump, the spine or the key position players do cop a bit of flak. Whether that's fair or not, that's for each individual to judge."
Bellamy, who began his coaching career as an assistant to Wayne Bennett at the Broncos, revealed he spoke with embattled Brisbane mentor Anthony Seibold a few weeks ago.
Seibold spent time under Bellamy in the Storm system and has recently been heavily scrutinised along with other high-profile Broncos figures.
"You basically sign up for that but your families don't, and for me, that's the unfair part," Bellamy said.
The Storm are dealing with their own adversity, being in camp on the Sunshine Coast due to Victoria's strict COVID-19 regulations.
The team hasn't let the change in scenery affect them and sit in third position.
One benefit of the reworked season for Kaufusi is having State of Origin played at the end of the year.
The halfway mark: Tackle of the year
"I don't actually mind having Origin at the end of the year, because you don't actually think about it," Kaufusi said.
"It doesn't pop up in your head - it's all just club-based. All your concentration, all your footy is just solely on the week ahead."
Kaufusi, whose family is with him on the Sunshine Coast, described the camp as "like a big open daycare, especially at meal times".
"It's kids galore ... You've got plenty of families with kids around. Some are older, some are in primary school," he said.