William Botoulas, Melbourne Correspondent, NRL.com
His legacy continues to grow and on Sunday afternoon Billy Slater took another step towards rugby league immortality.
Two first half tries against Parramatta on Sunday took the star fullback’s career tally to 165, moving him up to equal third on the NRL’s all time try-scoring list alongside Andrew Ettingshausen.
Having turned 31 just last week and with no sign of slowing down perhaps Ken Irvine’s record of 212 may be within reach for the boy from Innisfail.
The awards, accolades and honours will be a mile long for the Maroons and Kangaroos fullback and Sunday’s accomplishment is yet another jewel in the crown.
Though you won’t get any words of self-praise from this humble champion.
“I am very proud to score so many tries but I’ve been very fortunate to play in a lot of good sides,” Slater told NRL.com.
“A lot of the hard work [is done by] my teammates who create opportunities for me and I am very thankful for it.”
Just four days after Origin II, Slater turned in a game-winning performance in his first game back for the Storm in over a month to lead his side to a resounding 46-20 win over the Eels at AAMI Park
Slater marked his return with two tries and three try assists, and churning out 151 metres and six tackle breaks in a dominating display.
Not many could attest to such a feat as being “easy” but that is the precise words he used to describe the performance.
“It’s really easy to come back into this side. Everyone knows their role and does their role really well,” said Slater.
“To play like that, especially in attack, I thought that was one of our best attacking games for the year.
“It was really easy to go out there and concentrate on your own performance.”
In a season that started slowly on the back of off-season knee surgery the Storm No.1 looks to be hitting his prime.
Seven tries and eight assists from eleven games in 2014 has Slater set to steer Melbourne into yet another finals berth.
The troublesome shoulder may have looked right as rain but Slater admits it is something that will require ongoing treatment for the remainder of the season.
“It is going alright,” said Slater.
“It is something that I am going to have to keep managing for a little while but hopefully it won’t be too long before it is 100 per cent.”
Luckily enough Billy and his teammates will enjoy a lengthy recovery period before travelling up to take on the Dragons next Monday night.