Melbourne second-rower Kevin Proctor says the Warriors are the Storm’s bogey NRL side and treat their Anzac Day clash like a home game.
The Warriors enjoy huge support at AAMI Park from Melbourne-based Kiwis, with the teams set to do battle in their seventh Anzac Day meeting on Monday night.
They didn’t play last year but the Storm have won three to the Warriors’ two with the teams drawing in 2009.
“It’s always a packed house and it’s like the Warriors’ second home here, they’ve got that many supporters,” Proctor said.
“They’re kind of like our bogey team; it’s always a tough battle and I’m expecting the same.”
Both teams go into the match on the back of wins, with the Storm edging Wests Tigers in golden point and the Warriors rolling the Bulldogs, who overpowered Melbourne the previous round.
Proctor, who is hoping to add to his 11 New Zealand caps in next month’s Test against Australia, said the Kiwi players in the Storm fired up to face their Test teammates in the Warriors.
As well as Proctor, Tohu Harris, the Bromwich brothers Jesse and Kenny, and giant prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona are New Zealand contenders at the Storm.
“There’s a little bit more of a grudge in there, you know a few of the boys and you try to get stuck in a bit more than usual,” Proctor said.
One Kiwi player missing from the Warriors is fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who is out for the season with a knee injury.
Proctor said it was a huge blow for their Test line-up and Tuivasa-Sheck’s NRL side but said they had the depth to cover him.
“He’s such a great player … but the Warriors have got great players in their outside backs and I’m sure whoever they put there is going to be dangerous,” he said.
The Storm won their round three meeting 21-14 in Auckland, which has been a high in their roller-coaster season.
Proctor said they could take confidence after matching the might of the Warriors’ forwards who have in recent times made plenty of metres through the middle.
“We haven’t really played our best footy so far and we’re still five and two,” he said.