Don’t expect veteran Melbourne stars Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith to ask for a rest before the NRL finals.
The duo have led the Storm to a top two finish with two rounds remaining but Cronk says they’re not interested in a break to freshen before the September finals campaign.
And it’s not about trying to seal a minor premiership.
Nor is it about – all things going to plan – Cronk making his 300th NRL appearance in the grand final.
Instead, it’s all about maintaining momentum as Melbourne head toward the magical 20-win regular season mark.
“This team’s performance and its ability to play football over the next couple of weeks is paramount, as opposed to us having a say on whether we play or not,” Cronk told journalists on Monday.
“It’s pretty important we get some continuity. Not only with our rostering and our team but also with our performance.
“Cameron and I like to play and like to continue our performances … I don’t think (a rest) will be happening.”
Cronk said he and skipper Smith would only be missing out on the advice of performance staff.
The halfback is perched on 295 games, meaning the remaining two matches against Brisbane and Cronulla and two winning finals appearances would see him celebrate game 300 in a premiership decider.
But non one at the Storm is looking that far ahead.
After the in-form Broncos on Friday night comes the top-of-the-table clash with the Sharks in round 26 and Cronk said they’d be cruelling their finals chances by thinking about it too early.
“Finals football is all about momentum,” he said.
“We’ve got pretty good tests coming in the next couple of weeks. We won’t lift our eyes too high.”
Storm are perched on 18 wins, on track to claim 20 wins this season.
Parramatta is the last club to achieve the feat in 2001, with Melbourne’s 2006 and 2007 seasons marked off due to salary cap breaches.
Cronk insisted motivations were totally linked to finals football
“As a player and a part of the game the minor premiership is respected,” he said.
“Is it at the forefront of our minds? Not really.
“Our performances, our structure, doing those things are more important.
“If that comes as a part of it, obviously we’ll be very satisfied and we’ll accept the honour.”