Blair out for consistency in Melbourne
One game into a new stage of his career at the Storm, Melbourne winger Cheyse Blair is looking to overcome constant injuries and play some consistent first grade football.
Blair became the 172nd player to feature for the Storm in their win 38-0 win over the Titans last weekend and did so in style, scoring the game's first try with a 65-metre sideline dash.
"I was going to put my foot out to stop the ball, I didn't even think I was a chance to catch it," Blair said.
"I didn't think I was going to get there after seeing Will Zillman come across and I know he's a quick guy, but just happy to get over the line."
Not only was it Blair's first game of the season, but the former Eel and Sea Eagle hadn't played a first grade game in over a year after several injuries forced the 24-year-old to spend a lot of time on the sidelines.
"Last year I did my back and didn't do a lot of training at Manly, and also through the pre-season my hamstring went straight away so I had a few pre-season hiccups. In the first trial I did my plantar fascia in my foot, so I've just been back and forth, in for two weeks then out for two weeks," Blair said.
"As soon as I got told I got the nerves that I was playing; it's been over a year since I've played first grade, I hadn't played since Round 8 of last year. Every time we did a video session I had nerves watching the vision, but it was all good nerves."
Blair was able to get through the game unscathed and is now looking to string consecutive first-grade games together, which is one of the winger's main goals for the remainder of 2016.
"For me it's just to play consistent week-in, week-out footy. I was doing two weeks on and two weeks off most of the early season with little niggles here and there, so for me it's to obviously hold a spot in the first grade and play consistent football," Blair said.
Blair is at his third NRL club since making his debut for Parramatta in Round 1, 2012 and the journeyman is loving life in his new home town, although it did take some time to adjust.
"I've loved Melbourne so far, my partner and I have just had a baby and we've settled in very well," he said.
"It was a bit weird moving down here and driving with all the trams around, but that didn't take too long to get used to.
"The club is awesome. Manly was good, but a little old school, and this club is ultimately professional."