The Chairman takes a look at his favourite former track jockey currently dominating the NRL, Birry Slater.
In the form that he started 2012, there is no better DT prospect than Billy Slater. He was scoring tries, setting up tries, breaking lines, breaking tackles, pretty much anything on the field.
He scored four straight doubles to begin 2012, which in itself is 64 points, let alone the line breaks, try assists, tackle breaks, and everything that goes with it. Un had already jumped on the bandwagon by that stage, but unfortunately it was followed by a period of plateau around Origin, and then his knee injury struck.
His absence hurt many a DreamTeamer, but now that the Storm are back and in form, is there any stopping Birry?
His average this year of 47.64 doesn’t tell the whole story, because his potential to score 80+ for a couple of weeks in a row is massive. As the Storm start to click leading into the finals as everyone expected them to, it may be hard not to have Slater sitting in your lineup somewhere.
Unfortunately as the season has worn on, the errors in Slater‘s game have increased. It is most likely to simply be a case of tiredness around the representative season, but after a rest due to his knee injury following Origin, Birry is fresh and ready to fire ahead of the finals.
Most importantly, he’s starting to run the ball more. Early in the season he was using his wingers for kick-returns and simply combining beautifully with Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk. But now his confidence is back, the kick-return metres are starting to increase and he is as destructive as ever through the centre of the park.
Melbourne are starting to fire, which means Birry‘s scores will start moving towards the 60-70 mark consistently. The question isn’t can you afford him, it’s can you afford to not have him?