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Slater expects Broncos to show fight
Melissa Woods
17:41 AEST Wed Aug 15 2012

With their backs against the wall, Brisbane will be fired up for their crunch Friday night NRL clash with Melbourne according to Storm fullback Billy Slater.

Melbourne snapped a five-game losing streak two rounds ago and the Broncos are desperate to stop their miserable run at four at Suncorp Stadium before they find themselves tumbling out of the top eight.

Slater, whose speed and confidence is back on show after six rounds out with a knee injury, said the Broncos played their best football when they were under pressure.

"It's going to be really tough against the Broncos at home," he said.

"The Broncos have got their backs against the wall and usually when you come up against a side like that they're quite aggressive and they come out and play their best football.

"We'll be expecting nothing less from the Broncos."

Brisbane need only to look at their opponents for inspiration to turn their NRL season around.

Slater, however, wasn't satisfied and said the Storm needed to continue to improve if they were to be a finals force but the signs were good.

"Things are on the up for us," said Slater, who has scored seven tries in eight clashes at Suncorp.

"Momentum comes when you improve each week and I thought we were quite good against the Panthers and then last week (against the Titans) we started quite slow but kicked into gear at halftime.

"We need to improve on our starts and that's what we will be looking to do this week."

Although his knee was heavily bandaged against Gold Coast, Slater said he'd stopped wearing strapping while training.

"It's something that I don't want to rely on, I want to get it back to not wearing any strapping and get it stronger by itself."

The Test custodian said Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy, who admitted blasting his team in recent weeks about their form, had been "quite good".

"He will always take a negative out of a game rather than a positive which is why we're where we are.

"He just wants us to improve."

The Storm have brought veteran winger Anthony Quinn back into the starting side at the expense of rookie Victorian Mahe Fonua while prop Jason Ryles has also regained a starting jersey.


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