Former Storm prop and 2012 premiership-winner Bryan Norrie believes his old front-row partner Jesse Bromwich is now the best prop in the NRL, and it's "scary" to think how good he could get.
Norrie insists he's not being biased in naming the Kiwi international as the form prop of the competition.
In a blockbusting start to the year, Bromwich has averaged 170 metres (second-best among props behind Aaron Woods) and 33 tackles per game (eighth most among props) with 10 offloads and 11 tackle breaks in seven games.
Norrie, speaking to NRL.com in Canberra at the announcement of a partnership between the NRL and Australian War Memorial ahead of his old club's big Anzac Day clash with old rivals Manly, was adamant the beleaguered Sea Eagles would lift for the occasion.
In a mark of the evenness of this year's competition, Manly – four competition points adrift of the 15th-placed Eels – recorded their only win of the year against the current ladder-leaders Melbourne, back in Round 2.
"There's always a good rivalry there and they're expecting Manly to be firing," Norrie said.
"They haven't won a lot of games but when Manly and Melbourne play it's usually a brutal encounter and a close game and the boys are preparing well for it."
Norrie said he has been impressed with how his old club has started the season.
"They've been really good; I've been watching and very impressed with how they're going and it's great to see they're sitting first. It's only early in the year but there have been some great signs," he said.
"The defence has been really good, which is something they wanted to fix up from last year."
That defence has seen the Storm concede just 104 points in seven games to hold the NRL's second-best defensive record after the Dragons at this stage.
"Some of the young players that have played one or two seasons have really stepped up and are playing phenomenal football. It's great to see everybody's playing well and there's a great buzz at the club," Norrie added.
He'd been impressed with how youngster Cameron Munster had stepped in for injured fullback Billy Slater and noted Marika Koroibete has had a "phenomenal" start to the year.
But Norrie saved his highest praise for the man who was his front-row partner in his last NRL game (last year's qualifying final loss to Canterbury) as well as the 2012 Grand Final win over the same side.
"Honestly, I think, and I'm not being biased, he's the best front-rower in the comp at the moment, he's been amazing," Norrie said of Bromwich.
"The way he played last year and the way he started this year, his workload's been phenomenal and he just keeps improving. It's scary to see where he can go with it."