Tau­malolo ‘as good as you’ll see’

Dalby Herald - - SPORT -

THE Mel­bourne Storm won’t be do­ing any­thing to ag­i­tate North Queens­land wreck­ing ball Ja­son Tau­malolo be­fore Sun­day’s grand fi­nal at ANZ Sta­dium.

In­stead, the over­whelm­ing pre­mier­ship favourite plans to curb the Cow­boys en­forcer’s in­flu­ence on the de­cider by at­tack­ing in num­bers.

“One thing, you don’t call him out,” Storm as­sis­tant coach Ja­son Ryles said.

“You don’t poke the bear, so that’s just silly. I think that’s been tried be­fore.

“I don’t think you do stop him, I just think you try and limit his im­pact as much as you can and we have a plan around that.

“It’s one thing say­ing it and an­other thing do­ing it.”

The Roost­ers ex­pe­ri­enced first­hand the dan­gers of call­ing out Tau­maolo be­fore the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal.

The Cow­boys’ me­tre ma­chine feasted on the Roost­ers, charg­ing 256 me­tres – 99 me­tres fur­ther than the next best.

Ryles con­cedes it’s im­pos­si­ble to stop Tau­malolo (pic­tured) com­pletely.

“We’ve played him quite a bit over the last three or four sea­sons in big games so we’ve never been able to stop him,” he said.

“He’s a once-in-agen­er­a­tion type of player – he’s big, pow­er­ful, he’s got foot­work but then he also plays big min­utes as well and he doesn’t get sloppy around the ruck, so he’s as good as you’ll see as far as a mid­dle for­ward.”

— Gil­bert Gar­diner

PHOTO: DAVID MOIR/AAP

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