One-sea­son won­der? As if!

Mar­cus Bai tips Vu­ni­valu to be a game-breaker for a decade

Rugby League Week - - News - BY JOEL GOULD

MEL­BOURNE LEG­END Mar­cus Bai be­lieves Su­liasi Vu­ni­valu is no one-year won­der and pre­dicts he’ll have a 10-year ca­reer at the Storm.

The 20-year-old sen­sa­tion is sit­ting on 23 tries for 2016, an NRL record for a player in his de­but sea­son.

Bai says Vu­ni­valu has made a mock­ery of pun­dits who said he’d crack un­der pres­sure, and now sits as the Storm’s “fi­nals game­breaker”.

“With Craig Bel­lamy in charge there’s no way Vu­ni­valu will be a one-sea­son won­der,” Bai says.

“The Storm took Marika Koroi­bete from re­serve grade in Syd­ney and turned him into a bril­liant winger. Vu­ni­valu has seen that and if he keeps do­ing the job he can stay at Mel­bourne for 10 to 15 years.

“I’m a winger my­self and he does things we could never do when we played.

“I’m sure he’s the fastest man alive in the whole of Mel­bourne.

“Vu­ni­valu knows he’s go­ing to be tar­geted dur­ing the fi­nals but he is do­ing his job.

“He has the height, speed and strength. For the next two games he just has to keep the con­sis­tency.

“He has al­ready set the bench­mark for what can be done on the wing po­si­tion.

“He’s not mis­read­ing in de­fence now, like when he started. Against the Cow­boys [in week one of the fi­nals] his de­fence was un­be­liev­able.”

Bai was a cult fig­ure at the Storm and Vu­ni­valu is set to fol­low in the for­mer PNG in­ter­na­tional’s foot­steps.

“I went to Mel­bourne from the Gold Coast when I was no­body,” Bai says.

“My English wasn’t good but Mel­bourne helped me with that and gave me all the sup­port I needed so I could per­form to my abil­ity.

“That is ex­actly what this kid is do­ing. He’s risen from a no­body to a real some­body at Mel­bourne.

“Vu­ni­valu can be­come some­one young kids as­pire to be. My three boys idolise him.”

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