In the wake of a devastating loss, Melbourne captain Christian Welch says an inspirational text from club legend Matt Geyer to "remember 1999" has given the Storm belief they can go all the way in 2023.
The Storm face Sydney Roosters at AAMI Park on Friday night in an elimination clash after being hammered 26-0 by Brisbane in last week's qualifying final at Suncorp Stadium.
They must now win three games in a row to claim the premiership. It's a tall task, but the Storm have done it before.
Geyer, who won the 1999 title with Melbourne, clearly had a sense of deja vu when he sent Welch a text after the Broncos loss.
In their run to the title 24 years ago, Melbourne lost their first final 34-10 to St George Illawarra but won against Canterbury and Parramatta before facing the Dragons again in the decider and prevailing 20-18.
"Trying to find some positives out of that loss to Brisbane was pretty tough but to get that message in the sheds from 'Boofa' Geyer provided perspective and a reality check," Welch told AAP
"It was a nice text message from Boofa to remember what happened in 1999 after they lost that first final to St George.
"The Storm beat them again in the grand final, so it is certainly not all doom and gloom for us either.
"When you finish top four you get that privilege of another chance.
"We finished fifth last year, got rolled and then the season was done. Now we get a second shot at it."
Welch is not just drawing on the distant past. He's seen the 1999 scenario unfold in front of his own eyes in recent years.
"We saw Penrith Panthers lose in week one in 2021 and then knock us out (in the preliminary final) and go on to the win the premiership," he said.
"I am still really positive about the improvement in us and what we can achieve."
The loss of star fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen to a broken ankle against Brisbane, and a syndesmosis injury to winger Xavier Coates, has not dimmed Welch's belief.
"We have shown resilience all year," the 29-year-old said.
"This is a big setback with the loss of Paps and likely Xavier. It is just the 'next man up' mentality.
"I know that is a bit cliched, but we will run out 17 blokes (against the Roosters) willing and ready to put up a big fight."