Storm driven by pain of grand final loss
Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith admits it's no coincidence that every grand final defeat in club history has been followed by triumph the next season.
League records show the Storm have lost three deciders since their inception - against Brisbane in 2006, Manly in 2008, and Cronulla in 2016.
But on each occasion, Melbourne have rebounded the following year - against the Sea Eagles in 2007, Parramatta in 2009, and North Queensland in 2017.
Granted, two of those titles were later stripped as part of the infamous salary cap cheating saga that engulfed the club in 2010.
However, 12 months after losing to the Sydney Roosters, the Storm are hoping history repeats as they embark on their ninth straight finals campaign.
Smith, who played in two of those grand final defeats, conceded there was always extra motivation in avenging the heartbreak of losing in a decider.
"There's no doubt it's a very disappointing feeling, to lose a grand final," he said.
"I'm sure that everyone that's involved in losing a grand final, there's some thoughts and a desire not to have that feeling again."
Still, Smith is determined not to lose focus on a finals run that begins with a tricky home qualifying final against an improved Canberra outfit.
The 36-year-old hasn't forgotten that the Raiders were the most recent team to beat them, upsetting the eventual minor premiers on their home turf 22-18.
But he denied wanting to use Saturday's clash as a chance for revenge.
"I think if we think back to three weeks ago and use that as motivation, we're using the wrong type of motivation," he said.
"Motivation is now that we finish minor premiers, we're hosting the first semi-final at home against quality opposition.
"If we go out and play well and we're lucky enough to get a victory, we earn ourselves a week off and a spot in a prelim. I think that's the motivation."
STORM STRIKE TWICE FOR GRAND FINAL WIN
2006 GF: Broncos bt Storm 15-8
2007 GF: Storm bt Sea Eagles 34-8
2008 GF: Sea Eagles bt Storm 40-0
2009 GF: Storm bt Eels 23-16
2016 GF: Sharks bt Storm 14-12
2017 GF: Storm bt Cowboys 34-6
2018 GF: Roosters bt Storm 21-6
© AAP 2019