Scoring eight less tries than in the previous two NRL seasons might appear to be an obvious dip in form but Melbourne winger Suliasi Vunivalu says it's a calculated call by the Storm.
Vunivalu has been the competition's leading tryscorer for the past two seasons but this year hasn't even finished in the top 10.
The 22-year-old said that the focus for him and fellow flyer Josh Addo-Carr changed this season from purely on scoring tries to helping out with more of the grunt work in the middle of the field.
"At the start of the year we decided we're not focused too much on scoring tries," Vunivalu said.
"The tries will come if you do all of the little things and everyone is doing their job.
"We've been going in and getting carries and trying to help our forwards out as they do the most work and we get the candy on the wings."
As well as running the ball up the big Fijian has been an imposing figure in defence, delivering a huge hit on South Sydney skipper Greg Inglis that left him with rib damage during their qualifying final win last week.
That match was Vunivalu's return to play after two weeks out with a hamstring injury and he said he had been itching to get back into action.
"After two weeks out I was that hungry to get back out on the field and I wanted to play," Vunivalu said.
"I thought I'd start off being aggressive and being pumped as it would take the cobwebs away."
The preliminary final next Friday will double as a Melbourne farewell for retiring legend Billy Slater, as well as Ryan Hoffman if he's recalled to the Storm squad.
Vunivalu said it would add more incentive for a strong performance.
"I used to look up to Billy, he was one of my idols back in Fiji and we want to send them all off on a high," Vunivalu said.
A win will continue Vunivalu's stunning strike-rate, sending him to his third successive grand final from his three years in first grade.
"We do have a good record but we're not looking too far ahead," he said.