Two of the greatest fullbacks in the competition, Ryan Papenhuyzen and James Tedesco battled it out on Friday night under the lights of AAMI Park, as they continue to prove to selectors why they deserve the number one guernsey in the NSW State of Origin side.
He had everyone worried in the early stages of the match when Papenhuyzen collided with Josh Morris in a try attempt, forcing the fullback to go off for a HIA and assess a suspected shoulder injury.
Storm fans were all able to breathe a sigh of relief when Papenhuyzen passed all his assessments and made his way back out only six minutes later, being cleared of concussion and any other major injury.
You wouldn’t have even known he was off earlier on in the game if you started watching 25 minutes into the first half.
The first points on the board for the night were in Storm’s favour by a penalty goal and it was none other than Papenhuyzen who secured the two points.
Another penalty goal on half time’s siren saw the Storm take the lead into the break 4-0.
The first major points went Storm’s way through Jahrome Hughes, with Papenhuyzen again converting to give Storm a 10-0 lead.
Despite the sides being two of the best attacking teams in the competition, it took 49 minutes for Storm to find the first try of the evening. The Roosters, who has averaged 28 games per match, were in some real trouble.
It was Papenhuyzen’s try in the 50’ minute that unofficially declared him the winner of the battle of the fullbacks.
Although Papenhuyzen was forced with a shorter game time, he was still able to lay five tackles, run 94 meters and score 12 points all in 65 minutes of game time.
Storm finished the night with a 20-4 victory over the Roosters.
More to come.