LET’S cut to the chase.
If Billy Slater is mentally ready to play another “three years”, then the Melbourne Storm superstar has shown he is physically ready too.
Slater assisted the first try, played a pivotal role in the second and scored himself early in the second half as the Storm smashed the Rabbitohs on Saturday night.
“It’s a decision that I have to make soon,” Slater told the Herald Sun during the week.
“It’s a tough one because I want to make sure that I can contribute and I don’t want to just go around for the sake of going around.
“You’re always in the moment looking forward, I just want to be in the now and enjoy what we’ve got at the moment … if next year comes around we’ll focus on that then.”
If Saturday night was any indication, Slater’s manager George Mimis should clear his schedule.
Storm was brutal and frighteningly clinical in blasting South Sydney 64-6 at AAMI Park after six unanswered tries in the first half.
Mad Monday couldn’t come quick enough for the Bunnies, rendered helpless under devastating attack.
Suliasi Vunivalu set the tone in the opening minutes, getting on the end of Slater’s deft pass to score unopposed.
Slater then created the second when he feigned contesting a high ball and forced the error, the loose ball dribbling towards the uprights where Cameron Munster finished.
A searching 40-metre Slater surge threatened to splice the Bunnies open for a third time in 25 minutes but Munster was unable to escape a desperate defence.
Not that it bothered Storm, the unrelenting minor premier broke through moments later when Vunivalu burrowed under three Bunnies for his second four-pointer.
Craig Bellamy bristled at suggestions that Storm might consider hiding “party tricks” in the final two home games before the finals.
No wonder after Saturday night’s demolition.
If anything, Storm used the dead-rubber to remind the competition who’s boss.
Searching runs, creative drives and elite finishing skills cooked the shell-shocked Bunnies.
Storm fans had loads to cheer about during the 11-try, 58-point drubbing.
Crafty Cameron Smith and Slater scored either side of half-time, while Josh Addo-Carr torched the Bunnies with his third 70+ metre try of the season.
Addo-Carr finished with a hat-trick, while Smith was perfect (9-9) off the tee before going to the bench with 20 minutes to play.
Rabbitohs captain Sam Burgess was placed on report for striking Felise Kaufusi with a stray forearm.
MELBOURNE 64 (1 penalty try) (J Addo-Carr 3 S Vunivalu 3 T Glasby T Harris C Munster B Slater C Smith tries C Smith 9 C Munster goals) bt SOUTH SYDNEY 6 (T Fuimaono try B Goodwin goal) at AAMI Park. Referee: Henry Perenara, Jon Stone. Crowd: 15,403.
Source: sports dailytelegraph