Jacks has Slater’s vote
A lot has changed to this Storm side since Billy Slater last played in it.
On Thursday night Slater played lined up alongside four teammates for the very first time.
When Slater lined up at fullback, Will Chambers was the only outside back he had previously played with.
Suliasi Vunivalu, Cheyse Blair and Josh Addo-Carr were playing for the first time with the returning champion.
The other teammate was Ryley Jacks, the scorer of Storm’s opening try and who also had a key hand in Addo-Carr’s 77th minute equaliser.
Jacks will likely see significantly more playing time now with Cameron Munster expected to miss the next 4-6 weeks with a broken jaw.
Based on what he has seen so far, Slater has every confidence the new playmaker is capable of fulfilling the role.
“To be honest I don’t think we would have won if Ryley Jacks was not on the field,” Slater said.
“He’s done a great job for the first three weeks and I anticipate he will hold his spot in the team now that Cameron is injured.
“That is part and parcel of playing football, someone’s fortune is some else’s misfortune. Cameron has probably had that with me in the last few seasons.”
Storm maintained their unbeaten start to the season with Thursday night’s 14-12 win over the Broncos.
It is the second straight year the men in purple have won their first three games.
“It is a great start to the season and a typical Melbourne Storm start,” Slater said.
“Young Ryley Jacks has had to fill a hole, we lost a heap of back rowers in Kevvie Proctor and Tohu Harris got injured, Kenny Bromwich and Felise Kaufusi have done a great job, Nelson Asofa- Solomona, he’s doing a great job off the bench.
"Everyone just plays their role and does their job, it just makes it easier. Yes, we can do a lot of things better but we are still defending well.”