Just you try getting ring off me, fires angry White
Brett White celebrates the Storm's grand final win in 2009. Photo: Joe Armao
Brett White, the Canberra and former Melbourne prop who played in the Storm's grand final-winning teams of 2007 and 2009 that subsequently had their titles stripped because the club cheated the salary cap, yesterday had this message for Manly great Max Krilich: ''He is more than welcome to come and try to get the ring off me.''
White was responding to Krilich's comments in Fairfax yesterday that the Storm players who beat Manly in the 2007 grand final should hand their premiership rings back to the league.
''The title was taken away from them, so they should have handed them all back,'' Krilich said.
''If they're stripped, they're stripped. It's as simple as that. They shouldn't have kept the rings, that's part of the deal. It's like the [Olympic] gold medal. If you win the gold medal they give it to you then they take it off you.''
If the Storm beats Manly at AAMI Park tomorrow and makes the grand final against the winner of Saturday's game between Canterbury and South Sydney at ANZ Stadium, you know what next week is going to be all about, in terms of the media focus on Melbourne at least - the opportunity to get one of those titles back.
Will they be driven by it? Will it not be a factor? One thing you can be sure of, no matter what anyone says, is that it will be a story.
Storm founder John Ribot kicked things off early in a newspaper story on Sunday, when he said of the stripping of the premierships by the NRL in 2010: ''It is still a raw point with me.
''To the day I have breath in me I will try and get those premierships back.
''I would like to think when the dust settles people can review that decision.''
There are seven players named in the Melbourne team to meet the Sea Eagles who played in either one or both of those grand final-winning sides against Manly, in '07, and Parramatta in '09. They are Billy Slater, Dane Nielsen, Will Chambers, Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith, Ryan Hoffman and Ryan Hinchcliffe.
And there are three others who played in one or both of those games who are now playing for one of the other three finals teams still alive. They are South Sydney pair Greg Inglis and Michael Crocker, and Canterbury's Aiden Tolman.
White left the Storm at the end of 2010 to join the Raiders. He has had the season from hell this year, rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee early in the season to rule him out for the rest of it, but he is recovering well and looking forward to taking part in the pre-season preparation for next year.
Asked what the thinking was among the players who are still at the Storm from those '07 and '09 sides, White replied: ''Everyone who was involved in those teams knows what we did and what we achieved. We drove ourselves to be the best then, and the guys who are still there would be doing the same now.
''I believe we won those comps. Things went on that were out of the players' control, and whatever anyone wants to say about that the fact is we worked through the pre-season, we worked week to week through the season, and we gave every game all we had.
''I've still got the rings, the tattoo, and the memories. As far as I'm concerned, and my family are concerned - and it's the same for all the boys - we know where we really stand.''