Players for the Melbourne Storm have the luxury of sleeping in their own beds for four of the final six games of the Telstra 2017 NRL Premiership competition, a run home that puts them in an enviable position.
Not only will they host four of their remaining six, but also they have weeklong breaks between games three consecutive times.
The calm before the Storm is certainly welcome. They got the heavy lifting out of the way during the early rounds and it would seem as though the only threat would be a sense of complacency for the ladder leaders. There is also a short five-day rest ahead of a round 22 game against North Queensland Cowboys, but the upside of that obstacle is an eight-day break before the round 23 game.
The NRL released details of the last six rounds, which will start on July 30.
Round 21 will see the Storm play the Eagles at AAMI Park. Then there is the short turnaround for the game against the Cowboys in round 22, the short turnaround compounded by the Storm being the tourists.
Then, it is back to AAMI for a game with the Sydney Roosters, followed by a trip to McDonald Jones Stadium for round 24 against the Newcastle Knights.
Round 25 will have the Storm hosting the South Sydney Rabbitohs and round 26 will see the Canberra Raiders visiting AAMI.
Barring any unforeseen stumbles, the only true threat to the Storm’s finishing the season at the top would seem to be the game against the Cowboys, but they will at least have a respite the week prior when Manly Sea Eagles must pay them a visit.
On the opposite side of the ledger, the defending premier Cronulla Sharks will be accumulating the frequent-flyer miles, with four of their final six being on the road, including two consecutive in round 23 and 24, when they will have to tour for a game against the Broncos and the Cowboys.