STORM COACH URGED TO BENCH SCARRED PAPS
CRAIG Bellamy has been urged to drop Ryan Papenhuyzen back to the bench after the Melbourne Storm’s loss to Parramatta, with claims the fullback still has “scar tissue” from his concussion.
The Storm had the chance to set a record 20-game winning streak when they took on the Eels, but the shock defeat has given the coach food for thought as he seeks to clinch a minor premiership against Cronulla this weekend.
When Papenhuyzen spent a lengthy spell on the sideline with concussion, Nicho Hynes took to the fullback role with ease and it led to him earning a lucrative contract at the Sharks.
Since he’s come back, Hynes has eventually lost out and has had to make do with a spot on the bench. There are concerns Papenhuyzen is still a little gun-shy after the effects of a sickening concussion sustained during Magic Round.
“He’s got the most critical decision of the season coming up,” Fox League reporter James Hooper told NRL 360.
“He’s got to decide if he goes all in on Nicho Hynes and keeps Ryan Papenhuyzen on the bench.”
Journalist Paul Kent said the warning signs had been there for a while that the Storm’s convoluted spine make-up was affecting their fluency in attack. “Winning has a habit of wallpapering over the cracks in your game,” he said. “You don’t learn all the time from winning streaks.”