Tag Archive: Matt Duffie


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

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Such is the hype surrounding new Melbourne Storm recruit Elijah Niko that he has already drawn comparisons to former NRL star Israel Folau.Every season the Storm have unearthed a future star, and little-known Niko is tipped to follow in the steps of Folau, Greg Inglis, Billy Slater – and even rugby convert Will Chambers – and make an immediate impact on the NRL. Skipper Cameron Smith said Niko had a serious chance to brush aside seasoned campaigners for a start in Melbourne’s opener against Manly. All eyes will be on the club and their new talent after they were forced to release several big names, including Inglis, in the aftermath of last year’s cap-rorting saga. Club officials preferred not to comment on Niko, who scored 21 tries in 36 games for the Warriors in Toyota Cup, including one in last year’s grand final triumph, and said they wanted to “keep him under wraps”. But Smith gave him a glowing endorsement and went as far to liken him to Folau. Continue reading

Inglis departing early for WCC

Greg Inglis ($193,000 CTW) will fly into London three days earlier in a bid to play in the World Cup Challenge against Leeds. Inglis has a hip complaint and will be required to play 20 minutes of a hit out against the Harlequins to prove he is fit enough to face Leeds. Storm football manager said “He is doing more running now, he didn’t play in the All-Stars game . . . and our physio wants him to come with us and keep working on him.” Prop Jeff Lima ($224,900 FRF) is suffering from leg tightness and may also be required to prove match fitness in the Harlequins hit out. The Storm will also be without injured forwards Brett White ($180,500 FRF), Sika Manu ($214,100 2RF) and also Halfback Cooper Cronk ($294,00 HLV). Anthony Quinn ($91,400 CTW) returned from a serious neck injury last season, against Brisbane in trials unscathed and seems almost certain to regain his position in the starting line up on the left wing. The right wing position seems to be up for grabs with newcomer Matt Duffie ($73,600 CTW) and 28 year old speedster Luke MacDougall (Not Listed) set to fight it out to partner Dane Nielsen ($148,600 CTW) who looks to be moving back into the centres.