NRL: Melbourne have obliterated the Rabbitohs 64-6 at AAMI Park.
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 in the first try, played a pivotal role in the second and scored himself.
“It’s a decision that I have to make soon,” Slater told the Herald Sun during the week.
“I want to make sure that I can contribute and I don’t want to just go around for the sake of going around.
“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, blasting South Sydney 64-6 at AAMI Park.
Mad Monday couldn’t come quick enough for the Bunnies, rendered helpless under devastating attack.
Captain Cameron Smith said the “complete performance” gives Storm confidence going into finals.
“We’ve had some good scores (recently) but I don’t think they’ve been as complete as that,” Smith said.
“I think tonight when we crossed early, I don’t know, it was like there was a little bit of blood in the water.
“The boys just went for the kill and that’s the pleasing thing.”
But Smith could not shed any light on Slater’s future, other than to predict “we’ll be waiting a few more weeks”.
“It’s really hard to get any indication on what he’s going to do,” Smith said.
“Some weeks he’s fine he gets around with a bounce in his step and other weeks he mopes around a little bit because his body is bashed up.
“He’s played his entire career a million miles an hour, he doesn’t hold back from anything when he gets out on the field.”
Suliasi Vunivalu sparked the blitz, scoring almost unopposed from a deft Slater pass.
Slater then created the second when he forced an error and the loose ball dribbled towards the uprights where Cameron Munster finished.
A daring 40-metre Slater surge threatened to splice the Bunnies open for a third time in 25 minutes but Munster was unable to escape the breathless defence.
Craig Bellamy bristled this week that Storm would hide “party tricks” before the finals.
If anything, Storm used the dead-rubber to remind the competition who’s boss.
Searching runs, creative drives and elite finishing cooked the shell-shocked Bunnies.
Storm fans had loads to cheer about during the 11-try, 58-point drubbing.
Crafty Smith and Slater scored either side of half-time, while Josh Addo-Carr rattled off another 70m try.
Addo-Carr finished with a hat-trick and Smith was perfect (9-9) off the tee, before going to the bench with 20 minutes to play.
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.
Originally published as ’There was a little bit of blood in the water’