Experienced five-eighth Kieran Foran believes the harsh lessons delivered by the Melbourne Storm proved invaluable in last night’s 42-6 Elimination Semi-Final win over the Sydney Roosters.
Speaking on SEN Radio today, Foran said it was critical the team started strongly against the Roosters in Mackay after a poor first half against the Storm.
“We were bitterly disappointed with the way we were touched up by the Storm. We got completely blown off the park by them. They were just too clinical, too good, and we never gave ourselves a chance,’’ Foran said.
“It was a pretty sombre dressing room after that match. You could just see a real fire in the eyes of the guys throughout this week. ‘Dessie’ wanted a big response from the footy side and he certainly got that last night.
“We started the game with the intent you need to start finals games with. If you start games well, you give yourself a really good opportunity to be there at the end. I was really pleased with the way we did that last night.”
Foran said the team feels the loss to the Storm may well be a real turning point as they prepare now for Friday’s Preliminary Final against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium.
“We thought we could play around them (Melbourne), we thought we could finesse our way to victory like we did against playing the bottom eight teams,’’ Foran stated.
“The lesson out of that was that at this time of the year, you are not going to be able to do that to this type of footy teams.
“Although we have got a great style of footy that we’ve been able to grow throughout the year and we’ve got plenty of guys that can move the ball and produce some great skill, at the end of the day, if you peel it all back at this time of the year, the game is going to be won through the middle.
“That’s what we changed last night. We knew that gone are the weeks where we are going to finesse our way to victory.
“We are going to have to kick the front door down first and earn the right. Once we do that, then the guys on the back of that like Tommy and Daly will be able to pull teams apart.
“The game last night showed that if our middles do the job they are capable of doing, then we will be ready the next time we come up against Melbourne, or even this week against Souths.”