Cameron Munster was superb in Melbourne's Round 22 win over Gold Coast.

Munster learns from the best

It may be too soon to declare a star being born, but on Sunday afternoon at AAMI Park we could well have witnessed the making of one.

Report: Munster hat-trick downs Titans

 

Cameron Munster's second-half hat-trick helped Melbourne overturn a slim halftime deficit to blow away the Titans with a 36-14 win.

The blistering youngster finished with 235 metres, nearly 90 more than any other player on the field along with a game-high three line breaks.

He was calm under the high ball with lighting quick feet and was causing turmoil for the opposing defence on nearly every set. Does that description sound familiar?

As Billy Slater remains sidelined for the rest of the season, he way well we watching the arrival of his second coming.

However that is likely to be of little surprise to the champion fullback when you consider what goes on behind closed doors at AAMI Park.

It is within those walls that once a week, mentor and protégé sit down for fullback master class, the kind any developing talent would die for.

Imagine spending your childhood watching your idol on television and then one day have him sit in front of you on a weekly basis and show you the ropes.

That is the priceless situation Munster now finds himself in.

"I'm being mentored by Billy Slater, one of the best fullbacks in the world and he's been telling me what I need to improve on every week," Munster said after Sunday's win.

"Once a week he comes to me and watch a lot of video on what I can do better in plays, watching what defences do… one day I'll hopefully be like him.

"He was my hero, him and Darren Lockyer. At the moment Billy is one of the best players in the world and I am happy to be at the club with him."

 

 

The chance to develop under the watchful eye of one of the game's all-time great custodians was a big factor in Munster's decision to re-sign with Melbourne earlier this year, tying him to the club until the end of 2017.

However as rapid as Munster's rise has been this season it has set up a significant headache for the Melbourne hierarchy.

Slater is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal with the Storm despite his current contract set to expire at season's end.

It seems unfathomable that both parties will fail to come to terms but the form of Munster may be throwing a significant spanner in the works.

Munster spent significant time playing in the centres at Queensland Cup level prior to Slater's injury earlier this season but fullback appears to be his more natural and preferred fit.

The time will ultimately arrive for Melbourne to make a call and usher in a changing of the guard, with that seemingly more likely to occur in 12 months time than right now.

However until that day comes the protégé who will continue to rise to his future role with his mentor there to help guide him at every turn.