Nelson Asofa-Solomona showed why he is rated so highly with an eye-catching performance in the Storm's World Club Challenge win against the Leeds Rhinos on Friday night at AAMI Park.
The two-metre tall, 115kg forward was only on the field for 39 minutes but took away man-of-the-match honours in a fearsome display of impact running off the bench.
Asofa-Solomona ran for 108 metres in 11 runs, scored two tries, hit hard in defence and his charging runs had immediate impact.
His bullocking carries were a highlight of New Zealand's otherwise poor World Cup showing last year.
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Storm captain Cameron Smith said it was "frightening" how good the 21-year-old could be as looks to build on a promising NRL season last year.
"The last week and a half he's been very impressive in training," Smith said.
"And today, he looked very keen to get out there and play well.
"I think maybe after last year and including in the World Cup – we didn't actually play New Zealand but watched a couple of their performances – he was possibly their best player in that tournament.
"I think he may of realised what he can do on the footy field and his capabilities."
The big Kiwi prop was particularly damaging close to the line and left a host of Rhinos players reeling. A dominant year in the NRL beckons.
"He's a big, powerful man," Smith said.
"I think he's still got a lot of improvement left in him, which is frightening in some aspects.
"We're hoping after a strong performance tonight, he takes a lot more confidence from that and takes it into the season proper."
Melbourne Storm 38-4 Leeds Rhinos