Ex Capras player delivers 'brave' performance in Storm debut
CAMERON Munster overcame a shaky start to deliver a "brave" performance on debut for the Melbourne Storm.
A late inclusion for injured Queensland State of Origin fullback Billy Slater, Munster started at fullback in the Storm's courageous 22-0 Round 12 loss to North Queensland Cowboys at 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday night.
In his first performance in the NRL, Munster was in the thick of the action throughout the match, but didn't get many opportunities to show the attacking flair which saw him set the Intrust Super Cup alight in 2013.
With Storm halfback Cooper Cronk injured in Origin One, five-eighth Ben Hampton suspended; and Cody Walker and Joel Romelo injured, a courageous Storm captain Cameron Smith took on the playmaking duties partnering Ben Roberts in the halves.
Smith was meant to miss two weeks with an ankle injury sustained in Wednesday's Origin One, but soldiered on to lead the Storm.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy was pleased with the youngster's performance and believed the former Norths Chargers junior would benefit from the experience.
The 19-year-old finished the match as the Storm's leading metre-eater with 140m to his name.
"It's always a tough thing to do to play your first first-grade game, especially away from home and he hasn't done a whole lot of training with us (as well)," Bellamy said.
"He's been playing (under-20s) most of the year so it was always a tough ask for him.
"I thought he certainly was brave enough bringing the ball back and a couple of times."
"He's a talented young kid and he'll be better for the experience."
Munster rose to prominence at the Central Queensland Capras in the ISC last season, earning the competition's Rookie of the Year award, before joining the Storm on a two-year deal ahead of the 2014 NRL season.
Munster is the third CQ product in two years to play for the Melbourne Storm in the NRL after ex-Capras captain Tim Glasby and Winton-raised centre Kurt Mann.