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Seve and Lee neck and neck in battle for vacant centre spot

The race to play in the centres and alongside Fijian powerhouse Suliasi Vunivalu appears to be the biggest dilemma facing veteran coach Craig Bellamy ahead of the Storm's season opener against the Sea Eagles in a fortnight.

The inexperienced Marion Seve and off-season signing Brenko Lee got 40 minutes each to impress during the Storm's 22-14 pre-season trial victory over the Cowboys on Saturday night and Bellamy said he is yet to make a call on who will start the year wearing the No.4 jersey.

"It is going to be hard to pick between Maz and Brenko in that right centre position,” Bellamy said after the victory.

"Both the guys have done a pretty good job there, so it is just a matter of us working out who we think is going to serve us best.”

The Storm lost veteran back Will Chambers (rugby union) and talented New South Welshman Curtis Scott (Raiders) during the off-season, while Justin Olam appears certain to start in the centres and partner flying machine Josh Addo-Carr on the left side.

While Bellamy said he would rather have his starting team locked in for the opening round, he admitted it was a good problem to have two good options to play alongside Vunivalu.

Match Highlights: Storm v Cowboys

"I have been really happy with Maz and Brenko,” he said.

"They both played really well last week and they did some nice things again this week, so that’s not a bad thing for us at the moment.

"It might be a bit to do with the match-ups (against Manly), but it will be more about what they have done in the trials and what they do at training."

The Storm finished the pre-season undefeated from their two trial matches, with their victory over the Cowboys coming a week after their narrow triumph over the Warriors in New Zealand.

While winning form is generally better than losing form, Bellamy said he was unsure what the two victories mean for the regular season.

"I can’t remember the last time we have won a trial game and we have won two this year," he said.

"I am not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I was really happy with how we played the first half tonight.

"The second half we come out and our defence wasn’t quiet where it wanted to be, but it was a pretty scrappy old game."

Storm hooker Harry Grant.
Storm hooker Harry Grant. ©Hamish Blair/NRL Photos

One player to put in a strong audition for a bench spot for the opening round was young hooker Harry Grant.

Grant scored a try and set up vice-captain Dale Finucane for another.

Bellamy was impressed with what he saw from the Queenslander.

"Harry did a great job for us tonight," he said.

"(Skipper) Cameron (Smith) only played 30 minutes and that was the plan and Harry did a real good job after that.

"We can all see why he is ready to be a regular first grader."


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