Melbourne superstar Cameron Munster is putting his hand up to be the player to lead the Storm to back-to-back NRL premierships.
Most of Munster's career has been played alongside natural on-field leaders Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk, the obvious examples.
But with the Big Three now a part of the Storm's history, the onus has fallen on Munster to be the director of Melbourne's on-field productions.
It's a role he shifted into on Thursday, guiding the Storm's attack from five-eight as Melbourne overcame a halftime deficit against the Gold Coast at CBUS Super Stadium to post a record-equalling 19th consecutive win.
Seeing his No.6 take the reins so effectively earned post-match plaudits from coach Craig Bellamy, but Munster knows he has to deliver week-in and week-out for the Storm to successfully defend their premiership.
“I've been lucky enough and fortunate enough to have so many experienced players around me,” Munster said.
“They're not there anymore and I need to get off the couch and start pulling my finger out and start leading the boys around.
“I'm really excited to get the team out of the trenches but I need to start well and get into the game a lot earlier than when I've been doing lately.”
By his own admission, Munster says 2021 has been a “rollercoaster” of a campaign.
Despite the Storm's impressive winning run, Munster is still embarrassed by the 50-6 hiding from NSW in Origin I in Townsville where he gambled on being able to play despite a foot injury.
That Lisfranc injury is still there but Munster is confident it's no longer a hindrance as he looks to repeat the same heroics he displayed at the back end of last year when he won the grand final with the Storm before being player of the series in Queensland's upset Origin victory.
“My foot's getting a lot better and I guess that's just showing in my own performances,” he said.
“It's been a bit of a rollercoaster season and I guess everyone has injuries but all I can do now is just focus on the back end of the year.
“It's crunch time and we need to play our best football and if we're playing our best football that means I need to be on.”Internet Explorer Channel Network