Storm's Bromwich leading from front
If you were heading into battle you wouldn't mind taking Jesse Bromwich with you.
The star Melbourne Storm prop in fact had the scars to prove he had been in one following his side's thrilling 17-16 win over the Roosters on Saturday night.
A clash of heads ten minutes from full-time sent Bromwich to the sidelines with a cut above his left eye. He came back on moments later, head strapped, eye swollen, to help steer the Storm into what would be eventual winning field goal range.
It summed up the herculean effort by the Kiwi international who put in a tireless 147 metres and 39 tackles.
His match-up with Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was an intriguing one early on but was unfortunately cut short when his opposing number left the field after 30 minutes with a pectoral strain.
Bromwich pressed on, proving a thorn in the Roosters' side throughout the 80 minutes. It was another feather in the cap for the 25-year-old whose form has been red-hot so far in 2015.
"I guess it's been pretty good but I am always trying to improve and learn new things," Bromwich told NRL.com after the win.
"I think I could use the ball a bit more and bring in the offload. I think parts like that and defensively there is still plenty to work on.
"Definitely happy at the moment but always trying to improve."
Bromwich improving is a scary thought for his opponents.
Heading into the weekend the Kiwi front rower already ranked in the top five of the NRL for hit ups, metres gained, and decoy runs. His 10 offloads were also up with the competition's best.
Coach Craig Bellamy admitted last week that he was running out of words to describe Bromwich who has built himself into arguably the premier big man of the competition.
He has shouldered a heavy workload with big minutes in the opening seven rounds. It has proved the perfect test for the fitness levels Bromwich had looked to improve over the summer.
"It is definitely something I have been working on but I don't really want to take away some of my punch by playing those longer minutes," he said.
"It (playing longer minutes) is something we are playing around with at the moment and it is maybe something that is working for me as well."
Melbourne currently sits on top of the Telstra Premiership ladder and will look to make it four straight wins when they play host to arch-rivals and bottom-placed Manly next Saturday night.