Munster stars for Storm as Panthers held scoreless for first time in seven years

Both played under Green during his time as Queensland coach in last year’s State of Origin series. Munster was Green’s five-eighth. On this night, he was Bellamy’s fullback.

He is one of the Melbourne mentor’s great luxuries. The competition’s premier five-eighth and will wear No.6 for Mal Meninga’s Australian team at the World Cup later this year. But so impressive is Munster in the No.1 that former teammate Cameron Smith thinks he could be a top three fullback in the game.

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“We’ll probably look at it on our opposition, on what we think is the best way to use Munster and the best way to use Nick [Meaney] and their strengths. I’m not quite sure we’ll actually stick to Munster at fullback all the time,” Bellamy said.

“We’ll have a bit of a chat about that with the leaders, our halves, and see what the coaches think. It’s been handy with [Ryan Papenhuyzen] being out and Nick missing a week. We’re fairly to lucky to have him. He’s just such a competitor, he competes in everything at training and he competes in everything in a game.”

The premiership frontrunners were heavily depleted. Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai and James Fisher-Harris are all sidelined while Charlie Staines was called in to fill a void left at fullback by Dylan Edwards.

Now coach Ivan Cleary is sweating on the fitness of Liam Martin in the run to the finals after the Penrith back-rower was left on crutches with a suspected syndesmosis injury on his left ankle suffered during the second half.

“Credit to the Storm, I thought they played well. They were very desperate, probably a bit more than we were at the end of the day,” Cleary said.

“I felt like there some combination issues. When you play a good team and a defensive unit that are totally committed, that shows up. There were some good lessons in there tonight for us. It’s a good lesson for our younger guys. It’s just disappointing we couldn’t get some points on the board.”

Stream the NRL Premiership 2022 live and free on 9Now.

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