live Infotainment Factory: Axed Storm star to get last-gasp finals lifeline

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Saturday, 31 August 2019

Axed Storm star to get last-gasp finals lifeline


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Brodie Croft will likely get one more chance to impress Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy before the NRL finals with Cameron Munster set to be rested against North Queensland.

Munster aggravated a shoulder injury late in the Storm's 36-6 win over Manly, which wrapped up their third minor premiership in four years, on Saturday.

The Storm half will undergo scans, but regardless will likely be rested from Friday's clash with the Cowboys just one week out from the finals.

Croft was dropped by the Storm last week, with Bellamy keen to explore the combination of moving Jahrome Hughes to halfback and Ryan Papenhuyzen at fullback before the finals.

That move appeared to work on Saturday night, as the Storm dominated field position and terrorised Manly on the left to finish with six tries to one.

But Munster's injury will now give Croft one more game to impress, in what will turn into effectively a shootout with Hughes for a spot in the halves.

"It might be another chance for Brodie to no doubt stake his claim," Bellamy said.

"It was a really tough call for me to leave Brodie out. But we just thought with that top two sewed up we had room for experimenting.

"We liked most of what we saw (against Manly). But we'll go back and have a look.

"We had a lot go our way. We had a lot of line drop outs and the Sea Eagles made a fair few errors. Just looking back we will see what we've got."

Croft also missed games at the end of last year through injury, before reclaiming his spot for the finals.

There is a school of thought his defence is one of Melbourne's biggest concerns. The Storm have leaked almost 30 tries down his right edge this year.

Hughes was solid there on Saturday night, making 17 tackles and missing two as the Storm conceded just one try before halftime.

The performance of Papenhuyzen at fullback could also figure into Bellamy's decision, given Hughes' move to halfback has allowed the rookie to start at No.1.

Papenhuyzen was one of the Storm's best on Saturday night, as he busted through 10 tackles, set up one try and scored another in the win.

"We like what Pap brings at fullback, he's on the ball a lot and is quick and is a tough little rooster as well," Bellamy said.

Brodie Croft will likely get one more chance to impress Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy before the NRL finals with Cameron Munster set to be rested against North Queensland.

Munster aggravated a shoulder injury late in the Storm's 36-6 win over Manly, which wrapped up their third minor premiership in four years, on Saturday.

The Storm half will undergo scans, but regardless will likely be rested from Friday's clash with the Cowboys just one week out from the finals.

Croft was dropped by the Storm last week, with Bellamy keen to explore the combination of moving Jahrome Hughes to halfback and Ryan Papenhuyzen at fullback before the finals.

That move appeared to work on Saturday night, as the Storm dominated field position and terrorised Manly on the left to finish with six tries to one.

But Munster's injury will now give Croft one more game to impress, in what will turn into effectively a shootout with Hughes for a spot in the halves.

"It might be another chance for Brodie to no doubt stake his claim," Bellamy said.

"It was a really tough call for me to leave Brodie out. But we just thought with that top two sewed up we had room for experimenting.

"We liked most of what we saw (against Manly). But we'll go back and have a look.

"We had a lot go our way. We had a lot of line drop outs and the Sea Eagles made a fair few errors. Just looking back we will see what we've got."

Croft also missed games at the end of last year through injury, before reclaiming his spot for the finals.

There is a school of thought his defence is one of Melbourne's biggest concerns. The Storm have leaked almost 30 tries down his right edge this year.

Hughes was solid there on Saturday night, making 17 tackles and missing two as the Storm conceded just one try before halftime.

The performance of Papenhuyzen at fullback could also figure into Bellamy's decision, given Hughes' move to halfback has allowed the rookie to start at No.1.

Papenhuyzen was one of the Storm's best on Saturday night, as he busted through 10 tackles, set up one try and scored another in the win.

"We like what Pap brings at fullback, he's on the ball a lot and is quick and is a tough little rooster as well," Bellamy said.

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