Main content

Storm know Widdop threat

Photo: nrlphotos.com

Melbourne forward Ryan Hoffman says Storm are well aware of the qualities St. George Illawarra five-eighth Gareth Widdop brings to the table and aren't at all surprised by the English international's bright start to life as a Dragon.

A Storm premiership player in 2012, Widdop played 70 games during his time in Melbourne between 2010 and 2013 after progressing through the club's U20s system.

"Gaz went up there (to St. George Illawarra) with a lot of expectation and its great to see he's living up to that expectation," Hoffman said.

"He was a fantastic player with us. He was on my side of the field so I spent a lot of time playing with Gaz.

Fan Up with 2 for 1 tickets to Storm v Dragons. Monday 14 April, 7:00pm at AAMI Park. Book here.

"It's certainly no surprise to us that he has flourished in his role up there."

Monday night presents the first time Widdop will face his former club and Hoffman recognises a team effort will be required from Storm to nullify the playmaker.

"He's enjoying the extra responsibility and he's playing with a lot of confidence and that is what Gaz brought to the Melbourne Storm," Hoffman said. 

"When he was with us he played with a lot of confidence, he has that bit of 'x-factor' to come up with something special.

"It has been good as a spectator watching Gaz play but it is going to be up to us to nullify him on the weekend."

While needing to address several areas for improvement from the side's last two results, Hoffman says the side is focused on setting things straight against St. George Illawarra, a side who Melbourne has a long history with, dating back to the 1999 Grand Final.

"The last couple of weeks we have conceded more than 20 points and that is certainly not Melbourne Storm like. We're quite disappointed, we really know we need to improve these areas," Hoffman said.

"It's up to us, that game is done, we will finish our review today and get onto the Dragons.

"Melbourne Storm and Dragons games have had a long history of being very good encounters. 

"With the history that the two clubs have between them it's a game we enjoy playing and I'm sure the Dragons do too."