As Melbourne Storm prepares for Sunday?s clash with the Brisbane Broncos, established Storm winger Matt Geyer says he is relishing the responsibility as incumbent five-eighth while Scott Hill remains sidelined with a shoulder injury.
After leading the Storm to convincing victories in the past two weeks, Geyer believes he is starting to enjoy the role he has held down intermittently over the past five years.
?I?m really starting to enjoy five-eighth,? said Geyer after filling in for Hill in five of the Storm?s nine games so far this year.
?I?ve got a lot to learn and as they say you can?t teach an old dog new tricks but I?m really lucky to have the coach that we?ve got because he?s always willing to help out and pass on tips.
?We?ve also got a fair player that normally plays five-eighth giving me plenty of advice, Scotty (Hill) is always in my ear on the sidelines which is invaluable.?
Geyer?s periodic shift to five-eighth has been well documented in recent times but this latest stint in particular has highlighted the former NSW winger?s versatility.
?I?m keen to learn and I?ve put on a bit of bulk on in the off-season so I think I?m handling the defence in there a little closer which is improving my confidence,? Geyer added. Sunday?s clash is a tantalising prospect and one that has been greatly anticipated since Storm coach Craig Bellamy made the move south at season?s end last year.
?It is a bit of a different build up to the game for several reasons but in saying that once you get out there it?s all the same, the field is the same measurement, there?s 13 players aside and you?ve got to stop the other side from scoring tries,? Geyer explains.
History shows the Storm to be one of the better performers against the Broncos over the past five years - its 50% winning record over Brisbane is the best in the NRL.
?When we first started as a club the Broncos were the yardstick of the competition so if we could perform well against them it proved to us that we could perform well against anyone,? Geyer said.
?We?ve just tried to maintain that line of thinking and we?ve now got other reasons to keep that going, such as maintaining a top four spot and to give our coach a one-up on his old mentor.?
Despite averaging just over 28 points a game this year, Geyer believes the Storm will need to muscle up in defence if it?s to stop Brisbane?s attack (averaging 20 pts pg) from running riot this week.
?Defence wins tight games, we?ve just got to keep them (Broncos) down to a reasonable total because we?ve shown over the years that we can score points against any type of defence,? Geyer said.
Current Brisbane Norths captain and former South Queensland, Canberra and Canterbury prop Nathan Sologinkin has joined the Storm camp as insurance for Robbie Kearns who will lead City against Country tonight.
Melbourne will have a final training session tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 9.30am at Olympic Park.
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