Storm to keep Sharks hooker in close check

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Dale Finucane says there's no-one like Melbourne hooker Brandon Smith - both on and off the field - but he will be keeping a close eye on Cronulla rake Blayke Brailey in their final-round NRL clash on Friday night.

Both teams have plenty at stake with the Storm looking to wrap up the minor premiership with a win, while the Sharks have a top-eight spot on the line at Gold Coast's CBus Super Stadium.

Finucane, along with utility back Nicho Hynes, has signed with Cronulla for next season and he will leave Melbourne with fond memories of off-beat Kiwi Smith.

"He's pretty unique fella, both on and on the field," the Melbourne co-captain said.

"It's funny, I was watching on the weekend and moments where you think that he might be fatigued or he's just hanging on, he will come up with a brilliant play or a brilliant defensive action.

"He's just got that ability to find another gear and obviously play in that middle role as lock or front rower and play that hooker role as well."

Finucane said he wouldn't be making a beeline for Smith when making hit ups when they were on opposing sides next season.

"Typically hookers are players like myself and middle guys try to find them because they're generally smaller guys but Brandon is someone who's going to hurt you."

The NSW Origin lock was also impressed with his 2022 teammate Brailey.

He said Melbourne were preparing for the Sharks to shift the ball while identifying their No.9 as a danger.

"They've got a lot of quality players in their side and you can't give them opportunities and quick play the balls, particularly with Brayden in the middle.

"The leg speed that he has coming out of dummy half is certainly going to keep us honest as middle forwards."

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