The Courier-Mail

Boyd in growing Munster fan club

- CHRIS GARRY

DARIUS Boyd says Cameron Munster has a future in a Maroons jersey as statistics reveal he is having a better rookie season than his mentor, Billy Slater.

In a team full of greats, Munster has been Melbourne’s best player in the past month and will be a major threat to the Broncos’ minor premiershi­p hopes on Thursday night.

Boyd even compared Munster’s footwork and attacking threat with teammate Anthony Milford.

Munster signed with the Storm in 2013 instead of the Broncos, who didn’t show as much interest in the Rockhampto­n prodigy as Melbourne. However, if Munster had signed with Brisbane, he may still be playing for the Central Capras because Darius Boyd was always coming back to Brisbane when Wayne Bennett signed.

Munster was man of the match in Melbourne’s gritty victory over North Queensland last week, running for 244m and busting 10 tackles.

While those stats are exceptiona­l, what is more surprising is how Munster is providing a bigger all-round impact in his rookie year than Slater did when he burst on the scene in 2003.

Munster’s last month of football has been brilliant, including three man-of-the- match performanc­es.

Munster is only playing fullback because of Slater’s season-ending injury and the Maroons champion has been providing specialist training for the 20-year-old.

Compared with Slater’s rookie season, Munster averages more metres, line break assists, try assists and tackle busts while he makes significan­tly fewer errors and concedes significan­tly fewer penalties than Slater did.

Asked if he was a fan of his rival fullback, Boyd replied: “Mate, I just hope he’s a Queensland­er.”

“Fullback looks like his position. He is taking every opportunit­y.

“He is deceptive. He doesn’t look huge but he has the footwork and dummy and while he’s a different build to Milford, he plays like him in that he dummies a lot and uses footwork, and you can’t brace for him when he comes at you.”

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 ??  ?? RIPPER ROOKIE: Cameron Munster of the Storm.
RIPPER ROOKIE: Cameron Munster of the Storm.

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