STRATHFIELDSAYE Storm coach Darryl Wilson won’t use top spot on the ladder as a motivating factor ahead of the final two rounds of the BFNL season.
The Storm, who play third-placed Gisborne on Sunday and ninth-placed South Bendigo in the final round, sits just 5.5 per cent behind ladder-leader Sandhurst.
With Sandhurst playing fourth-placed Golden Square on Saturday, the Storm will know before they run out against Gisborne how much they need to win by to grab top spot off the Dragons.
“To be totally honest we are solely focused on winning the final two games,’’ Wilson said.
“If we win the final two games and the percentage works out – so be it.
“We can’t control what Sandhurst does in the final two weeks.
“We won’t talk about percentage, all we want to do is win and go into the finals with some momentum.”
The Storm finished on top of the ladder last year, but lost the second semi-final to Golden Square.
They defeated Eaglehawk in the preliminary final before losing to Square in the grand final.
Despite a run of injuries to key players, the Storm remain the hot favourite to win this year’s premiership.
One of those injured key players – Shaun Everington – looks set to resume from a calf injury against Gisborne on Sunday.
“Everington is probably a 90 per cent chance of playing,’’ Wilson said.
“He feels he is a lot better than he was last week. He’ll train tonight (Friday) in Melbourne and we’ll know more in the morning.
“We won’t be taking any risks with him. If he’s not 100 per cent right he won’t be playing.
“If he does his calf again playing on Sunday then he’ll miss the finals. It’s not worth the risk if he’s not right.”
Gisborne is coming off a humiliating 69-point loss to Sandhurst last Saturday.
“No matter what form Gisborne is in, you know you’re going to get a hard game,’’ Wilson said.
“Gisborne had been playing some really good footy before last week and I’m sure they’ll be keen to bounce back.
“They get two quality players Matt Knox and Matt Fitzgerald back into their squad as well.
"We're not expecting anything less than a very tough game."
Gisborne's position on the ladder can't change in the final two rounds.
The Bulldogs will play either Strathfieldsaye or Sandhurst in the qualifying final.