Tag Archive: Kevin Proctor


Blair back up the front

In-demand Adam Blair’s absence from the Melbourne Storm front row has turned out to be more of a weekend break than an extended holiday. Blair spent the pre-season preparing to play in the back row and was named there for the opening-round win over Manly. But coach Craig Bellamy decided on a late reshuffle of his pack, with Blair starting in the front row in place of Bryan Norrie and being one of the Storm’s best in the 18-6 victory over the Sea Eagles. The coaching staff must have been pleased, with Blair listed at prop for Saturday’s home game against Gold Coast, allowing Kevin Proctor – who also shone against Manly – to start in the back row. “I thought I was going to be on the edge but the coach wants me in the middle so I’ve got to do some hard work,” Blair said on Wednesday. “The fitness is a little bit tougher in there, but once I get one game out of the way it can only get better.” Continue reading

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Storms youth led recovery

Melbourne Storm’s recruitment strategy for 2011 was dictated by their dire circumstances last year. A salary cap stretched to the limit by the dodgy deals of past administrators left little cash to replace a host of departing stars. So the addition of journeyman props such as Adam Woolnough and Troy Thompson filled out the list in positions where it was weak. But Storm’s Round 1 line-up won’t be just veteran-filled because coach Craig Bellamy is set to back a youth-led recovery. As many as six players aged 22 or younger could be in his 17, with 10 fledglings set to form the core of Storm’s new look outfit now and into the future. Wingers Matt Duffie, 20, and 19-year-old Justin O’Neill made try scoring their business last season taking their fast-tracked opportunities to make a serious impression. Centre Chase Stanley has already played for his country but is still only 21 and, despite an injury setback, could win the race for Greg Inglis’ centre spot. Continue reading

Lowrie called up for Knights clash

Melbourne has made one change for Saturday night’s away clash with Newcastle, naming Todd Lowrie for his club debut in place of injured back-rower Ryan Hoffman. The dual premiership player, who missed the 2008 grand final after hurting his ankle late in the season, is expected to be sidelined for between four and six weeks after scans confirmed a grade two medial strain. Lowrie, however, is no certainty to line up as he continues his recovery from the groin strain he picked up in the World Club Challenge win over Leeds Rhinos a fortnight ago. The former Parramatta forward, who played against Melbourne in last year’s premiership decider, has been named for the second week in a row but a final decision on his fitness won’t be made until closer to the game. Rising star Kevin Proctor, who came into the starting line-up last week when Lowrie failed to come up, will start again this time in the No.12 jersey, with Ryan Tandy retaining his spot on the bench in the 17-man squad. Storm coach Craig Bellamy is still unable to consider Cooper Cronk (groin/hip), Brett White (shoulder), Sika Manu (broken leg), Chase Stanley (shoulder), Atelea Vea (back) or Sione Kite (shoulder) because of injury.

The Knights may welcome back hooker Isaac De Gois and centre Adam MacDougall after both missed last weekend’s upset win over the Bulldogs with knee injuries but inspirational skipper Kurt Gidley (hamstring) will sit out again and isn’t expected back until at least next week.Also certain to miss the match are James McManus (foot) and Ben Rogers (dislocated elbow) while Junior Sau (rib strain) and Marvin Karawana (knee) both suffered injuries last weekend and the club is waiting on the results of scans before confirming if either will be sidelined.