Munster puts contract on hold for finals

·3-min read

Cameron Munster has put all contract negotiations on hold until Melbourne's NRL season is over so he can focus on the finals, starting with Saturday's sudden death battle with Canberra.

Munster is contemplating a multi-million dollar deal to join new NRL club the Dolphins and said on Tuesday he had to consider his partner Bianca, who is from Queensland, and the mother of their baby son, Jaxson.

He could be swayed by Craig Bellamy's call this week that next year is set to be his last as head coach before he moves into a director of coaching role at the club.

"Next year is going to be my last - I'm getting too old for this and the game's changed in a lot of ways that I'm not so used to or not that fond of," Bellamy told 100% Footy on Nine.

"By the end of next year I will have had enough."

The Storm have topped up their offer to keep the star playmaker at the club beyond 2023, but Munster said he was avoiding contemplation on his future until the finals were over.

"I've spoken to (chairman) Matt Tripp and the club and I'm going to put a hold on negotiations until the final series is done," Munster told reporters.

"I just want to focus on finals and hopefully go deep in September.

"We've got a big game this Saturday against the Raiders so - looking forward to that.

"If it was only about myself then I'd love to stay but at the same time I've got a young family that I need to worry about and obviously (Bianca) is from Queensland so we need to make sure we will make the right decision."

Fifth-placed Melbourne are hosting an eighth-placed Raiders outfit who have no fears about playing at AAMI Park, winning on their past four visits.

They beat the Storm 20-16 in round 18 this year, while the teams squared off in Melbourne in the 2019 finals with Canberra again triumphant 12-10.

Munster said he felt the Raiders matched up well against his side because they played a similar style of football.

"It's similar to what we're about, trying to grind the other team into the ground, and the Raiders have done that to us," the 27-year-old said.

"We need to make sure we play with that mentality of just going through their middle.

"They're big boys and if we start to get into that grind it could end up being bad for us."

Melbourne have received a boost with halfback Jahrome Hughes primed to play after missing their final-round loss to Parramatta with a calf injury.

Training lightly on Tuesday, Hughes said the injury had improved with the extra time off.

"It was too much of a risk to play as there was a potential chance to miss the finals," Hughes told AAP.

"It didn't feel too good at the end of the week but I feel much better for it this week and should be ready to go."

Munster felt the finals series appeared very even, with the bottom teams level with the frontrunners.

The Storm need to win four straight to claim the title, which no NRL team outside the top four has previously managed.

"It's going to be tough for us, I'm not going to sugar-coat it but we've got the calibre and depth of players to go well," he said.

"We have to execute our game plan and make sure everyone's in the right spot, and (if) we do that and hold on to the ball we can give any team in this competition a shake."