Storm’s secret grand final preparation revealed
THESE are the images which show just how detailed the Storm's grand final preparations are.
Dubbed "The Renegades", they are the most important part of the build-up for Melbourne ahead of Sunday's premiership decider.
They are the Melbourne Storm squad members who won't play in the grand final but have been tasked with mimicking the exact style of play of the Roosters.
Players have been told they need analyse and study Roosters players and play exactly like them during opposed training sessions.
The Storm's preparations are so thorough that the Renegades shirts are in Roosters colours. Each player has a number and name above it - such as No. 1 Tedesco - while Melbourne have even gone to the trouble of plastering the Roosters major sponsor Steggles on the front of the jersey.
Rookie fullback Scott Drinkwater has been tasked with channelling James Tedesco while Ryan Papenhuyzen has taken on the role of Luke Keary and Harry Grant is Jake Friend.
The Storm are preparing as if Cooper Cronk is taking the field given very little thought to Mitch Aubusson starting at halfback despite the veteran utility being named in the No. 7 jersey.
Coach Craig Bellamy said his side were aware of the Roosters strengths.
"We haven't gone too past Cooper to be quite honest," Bellamy said. "We have gone a little bit into if Coops doesn't play. We haven't really spoken about Mitchell too much.
"At the end of the day we can only prepare the best way we can,
"There are things about the Roosters, they are in the grand final because they do things really well.
"So we have to be aware of that. other than that we have to get our part right. That's what we are really concentrating on."
The latest development comes after Billy Slater revealed he had studied all of Sosaia Feki's tries in the lead up to last week's clash against Cronulla.
It is something the Storm have done in the lead-up to grand finals before. They did it as far back as their 2012 premiership win against Canterbury.
Lock Dale Finucane featured in that match as a Bulldog but will turn out in his third consecutive grand final with the Storm on Sunday.
He said talk of back-to-back premierships had not been the driving factor.
"I'm lucky to have been involved in a couple of games now this time of year," Finucane said.
"Craig is focused on a week-to-week basis. It would be a great achievement (to win consecutive premierships). That's not what we're looking to achieve. We just want to win the game and get the outcome we want. "