Life after Cooper Cronk doesn't look too bad after all.
Twenty-year-old Brodie Croft has made the Storm's halfback spot his own after a commanding performance against the Leeds Rhinos in the World Club Challenge on Friday night.
Croft contributed a try and three try assists in a composed performance on what was the biggest stage of his career so far.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy was delighted but not surprised by the halfback's display.
"We expected that of him, to be quite honest," Bellamy said.
"We know he is a talented young fella. We don't expect him to be Cooper Cronk, but just expect to do a real good job 'Brodie Croft' style. I thought he had a really good start to the game defensively and built his game on that.
"It's a very promising start as our starting halfback. He got a lot of help from his teammates and hopefully will continue to do that."
- Slater injured as Storm beat Leeds in World Club Challenge
- Bellamy praises all-conquering Smith and Slater
- Asofa-Solomona potential 'frightening': Smith
Croft showed his acceleration and willingness to take the defensive line on particularly as the match wore on, also showcasing an accurate kicking game.
One of his cross-field kicks led to a try to Josh Addo-Carr, which put the game beyond doubt for the Storm.
Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith also gave the young number seven an endorsement and challenged him to repeat the performance each week.
"This was the biggest game he's played in – he's played in a few NRL matches – and handled it well," Smith said.
"The biggest challenge for him is to be able to produce that every week. It is quite a gruelling season – he's quite a young fella.
"He's had quite a long preparation for this game. He now needs to go out on the field every week (and perform)."