You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Munster's vote of confidence for next wave of Storm troopers

Games like Melbourne's win over South Sydney at the weekend give five-eighth Cameron Munster an inner calm that things will be alright when Cameron Smith decides to retire.

Munster is extremely pleased that there's no sign of Smith retiring in the near future, but seeing how the Storm clicked with fresh faces in the side gives him a sense of confidence about Melbourne's movement into September. And you can add to that moving into a Smith-free era.

Already Craig Bellamy's men have coped with the Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater exodus superbly.

"We've got some young faces in the team and that's one of the good things about this side. We have players coming through who are going to be hungry. When they do get that opportunity you admire the way they take it," Munster said.

"Ryan Papenhuyzen is a good example and Nicho Hynes [v Souths] is another. They just want to come through and learn off the older boys and improve. And that's what you want around your squad and around your club.

Munster conjures Fantasy magic

"If we keep improving each week I'm very confident we can have a real crack at these finals this year. It's really exciting because everyone is loving their footy at the moment."

The flipside is there's nothing stopping that feeling of success staying once Smith does retire.

"It will be interesting to see, when Smithy decides to hang the boots up, where we stand," Munster said.

"That's when we will see how good we really are when he goes. But it's a good transition now with some of the players we can think about long-term. We just need to keep that good spine together coming through and keep that successful reign going."

Bellamy also heard the talk pre-season of how Storm would finally come back to the pack this year.

"I know a lot of people wrote us off without Billy, and they may be right, losing him and the extra experience of Ryan Hoffman – a couple of Origin players gone," he said.

"The thing that's really pleased me is how some of our younger blokes are playing. The two fullbacks have been outstanding [Jahrome Hughes and Papenhuyzen]. Brandon Smith has just gone upwards and upwards this year.

"Justin Olam and Marion Seve have done a great job in the centres for us as well. We just saw Nicho doing a tremendous job.

"Tino [Fa'asuamaleaui] is only a young forward and finding his way but he did a great job for us too.

"So those younger blokes – with all due respect – are playing a bit above expectations and that's probably been the difference between where we are and a lot of people thought we might be."

Are we headed for a grand final rematch?

Munster then chimes in with how Smith is leaving his legacy now, which will ensure Storm's bright future.

"He's the one who wants to improve himself. And when your skipper wants to improve it just makes everyone want to be a better player and a better person," he said.

"That's what you love about this club. Smithy sets the standards."

Ever the larrikin, Munster was asked if had any intel on what Smith's playing decision would be for 2020.

"Haven't you heard?" Munster said.

"He's just signed another five-year deal and will be playing well into his 40s."

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.