Injured Billy approves of the kid
Melbourne Storm great Billy Slater says young Melbourne fullback Cameron Munster is the complete footballer.
First-choice Storm fullback Slater is out for the season with a shoulder injury and Munster has thrived since filling in at the back for the 32-year-old.
Munster put in his best performance in Melbourne colours in the Storm's 46-0 Round 14 win over the Sydney Roosters.
The 21-year-old ran for 221 metres, made four line breaks, had three try assists, scored a try and almost broke NRL Fantasy in the process – scoring 99 Fantasy points.
Slater says he's in awe of Munster's performance and can't wait to see what the future holds for the Rockhampton product.
"He's a great young player and he's always had the ability there. I thought his game against the Roosters was the best game of his career," Slater said.
"It helps him that the team is doing really well and he can just focus on his job.
"He's managing his game very well and we've worked on that.
"He's playing tremendously at the moment and that's great to see because he has a bright future."
It's not the first time Munster has come into the side for Slater, with a left shoulder injury suffered in Round 5 of the 2015 season seeing 'Billy the Kid' miss the majority of the season.
How Munster handled being put into first grade with next to no experience is what impressed Slater the most.
"He came in last year when I got injured. He was thrown in the deep end then after having only played one first grade game previously," Slater said.
"Munster's been able to overcome and thrive on every challenge that's been thrown his way. I have no doubt that he'll continue to get better.
"The scary thing for me is that he's so experienced with the way he plays, but he's still so young. It's quite rare to see.
"I remember when I was his age I had quite a few errors in my game and a few areas in my game that I really needed to improve.
"He doesn't seem to have those areas and he seems to be quite a complete footballer. There are only minor details where we need to improve his game."
Munster has been a huge part of Melbourne's rise to the stop of the table this season, with the Storm having only lost two games in 2016.
"I'm not surprised by how well the Storm are going," he said.
"We were playing some good football at the start of the year. Although we probably weren't as fluent with the football, our defence and effort was always there.
"That's continued throughout the season and we've just got better with our ball use.
"The last six weeks have been our best because every member of the team has understood their role and done their role.
"The team is starting to realise the damage it can do when everyone completes their role."
The Storm will be chasing their eighth win in a row on Saturday night when they travel to WIN Stadium to face the St George-Illawarra Dragons.
It will be a huge test for Melbourne, with Bellamy unable to name Queensland Origin stars Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith.
The two sides previously met in Round 1 of this season, with the Storm holding on to win 18-16 at AAMI Park.