Melbourne playmaker Blake Green can’t see NRL front-runners Cronulla stumbling as the two clubs battle it out atop the ladder.
The Sharks are in unfamiliar territory, becoming just the fifth team ever to win 14 straight games, as they lead the Storm in the race for the minor premiership.
Some pundits already deem the NRL title a two-horse race with those sides at least six points clear of the field with seven rounds remaining and performing consistently.
Ahead of their Saturday night clash with the Sydney Roosters, who the Sharks overcame 32-20 on Monday night, Green said he didn’t envisage Cronulla faltering.
The Sharks’ previous-best winning streak was 11 games, set in 2002, and they’ve never won a grand final.
“They would have to be favourites. They’ve won 14 in a row and have been playing some really good footy and have got some outstanding individuals,” said Green.
“It’s probably better the fact that they haven’t been there before as there’s no expectation.
“They’ve got a lot class so I don’t think winning these games is going to affect them and I don’t think they’re going to have a dip in form.
“They’re continuing to play well so they’re certainly a big threat.”
Green said his own team deserved a pat on the back for their hard work and results through Origin.
Melbourne had its most successful Origin period in six years, winning five from six games.
It’s in stark contrast to the previous three seasons when they’ve only managed to win six games in total and it’s the best position the Storm has been in after 19 rounds since 2012.
“We’ve put ourselves in a really good position to set ourselves up for the end of the season to do something special,” said Green, who has been linked to Manly but refused to talk of his playing future.
“We’ve done a lot of the hard work to put ourselves in this position so it’s up to us to capitalise on the opportunity.”
Following a raft of injuries to the backline Melbourne have almost a full roster, with gun centre Will Chambers returning from a fractured foot in their win over Newcastle.
“He’s an important part of our team and he gives us some class out wide,” Green said.