8 Sep 2008

Storm ready to defend NRL crown

3:58 pm on 8 September 2008

Melbourne's captain Cameron Smith has a warning for the Warriors -- he says the Storm are more experienced and ready to defend their NRL crown as they again start favourites for this year's finals series.

The Storm became the first league team in more than a decade to complete a hat-trick of minor premierships last night and they're aiming to become the first team since the NRL started in 1998 to win back-to-back titles.

They start their campaign with a qualifying final against the eighth-placed Warriors at Olympic Park on Sunday.

Smiths says they're more ready than ever to tackle the finals series.

However the Warriors won in Melbourne six weeks ago and are one of only two teams to beat the Storm at Olympic Park in the past three seasons.