Before the season began Melbourne knew that to win the premiership they would need their No.1 fit and firing, no one imagined his name wouldn't be Slater.
Instead of that jersey being worn by a 32-year-old champion with 277 games experience it is a recently turned 21-year-old kid with 19 games under his belt that is leading the way.
Back in mid-June when the Storm announced Billy Slater was checking in for end of season shoulder surgery, the NRL world assumed they were also announcing the end to their premiership ambitions.
A fresh-faced Cameron Munster stepped up to fill the shoes of arguably the game's greatest ever fullback. He was a prodigious talent but as far as having a meaningful impact on the Storm's fortunes it was simply too soon.
Then came Round 22 on a Sunday afternoon at AAMI Park. Munster had 232 run metres that day, three line breaks three tries and by the end of the 80 minutes Storm fans had cause to believe that season 2015 may end in glory after all.
The Storm then snuck into the top four, thanks to a favour from arch rivals Manly on the season's penultimate day, setting up a date with minor premiers the Roosters last Friday night.
With Melbourne clinging to a two-point lead in the final minute of play the Roosters sent a high ball over the head of a waiting Munster. With the eyes of the NRL world watching and the game on the line there was no more fitting baptism of fire to finals football.
"It is very exciting, having my finals debut this year and just really lucky to be playing alongside the boys," Munster said.
"It was really fast, I was struggling there for a bit but I was just lucky to get through with it I suppose.
"It felt like a grand final to me... It was pretty high pressure, I was pretty sure after the game. It was probably the sorest I've ever been after the game."
Munster proceeded to take the high ball as though completing a training drill and in doing so he sent Melbourne into a home preliminary final.
With every highball caught, try scored and line break blitzed this boy from Rockhampton has left many an experienced onlooker amazed in the 18 games he has played this season.
But how? The answer: supreme confidence.
Munster is a talented kid who is confident in his own ability. It is not an arrogance but a necessity. It is the only way a young kid could possibly have taken on the minor premiers last Friday night and come out on top.
Storm captain Cameron Smith touched on Munster's self-belief after his breakout performance against the Titans. The more experienced heads in the game today understand that incredible confidence is simply a by-product of the up and coming players of today.
"Confidence is certainly not an issue with young kids these day, not just our kids," Storm five-eighth Blake Green said.
"He's been really good for us Cameron, hopefully he can continue that role for us. He's obviously got a big role to play filling in for Billy and he's done an enormous job, as have all our young kids."
If there is concern that this emerging star could be getting ahead of himself you need hardly to worry. There are plenty of wise souls within the walls of AAMI Park that make no secret of keeping their stand-in fullback grounded.
"I cop everything. Even if I'm not doing anything I am copping it and I wouldn't have it any other way to be honest with you," Munster said.
"I like a bit of banter so I just have a bit of a laugh with all the boys."
Munster is contracted until the end of the 2017 season, conveniently the same time Slater will reach the end of his recently signed deal.
Storm will face a fight on their hands to retain Munster when the time comes, as rival clubs will be cuing out the door to pry the boy wonder out of the southern state.
Rumours, innuendo and speculation will only increase as his star rises, but as he showed last Friday night sitting under that high ball, this is a kid who remains unfazed by it all.
"I do read the paper, see my name and see my face but none of that bothers me. It is just all talk and rumours," Munster said.
"I just worry about myself each and every week and contract stuff is with my manager and my club, it's got nothing to do with me and I just worry about playing every week."