It has been a long season for the Storm ace. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)
It has been a long season for the Storm ace. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

The Foxx is ready to pounce

A FIVE-GAME scoring drought is uncharted territory for Josh Addo-Carr but Melbourne Storm is bullish the electric winger is ready to strike.

The Addo-Carr was the game's most prolific finisher, along with Storm star Suliasi Vunivalu, before a breathtaking NSW Origin debut series put the virtual brakes on the NRL's fastest man.

But hints of Addo-Carr's brilliance and devastating best in recent weeks has Storm assistant coach Adam O'Brien braced for a breakout performance, hopefully in next Friday night's preliminary final.

Addo-Carr was tested by the Bunnies’ bombs. (AAP Image/Hamish Blair)
Addo-Carr was tested by the Bunnies’ bombs. (AAP Image/Hamish Blair)

"He's never far away from them (tries)," O'Brien said. "I thought last week was a real step forward to his best form.

"I've just got a feeling about Josh at the moment."

Addo-Carr, whose dinky right-foot checkside kick at top speed set up the all-important Storm equaliser last Friday night, has played 26 games this season, including three Origin appearances.

Cameron Munster is next best with 25 NRL and Origin games, with Cameron Smith (24), Christian Welch (24) and Kenny Bromwich (23) next best.

 

It has been a long season for the Storm ace. (Phil Hillyard)
It has been a long season for the Storm ace. (Phil Hillyard)

O'Brien said the load and targeting from opposition teams, especially under the high ball and early in sets, took a toll on the premiership-winner and emerging Kangaroos winger.

"He probably went through a little bit of a flat period there but I certainly feel the last couple of weeks there's a real spring in his step and he's getting really close to that top line form that we've seen before," O'Brien said.

"He's not a big guy but certainly doesn't get the wraps that he deserves, and Suli's the same, they carry the ball as well as any of the big forwards in the comp.

"They don't mind sticking their heads where most people wouldn't stick their foot so we're certainly happy when we see them running hard like that, it just makes it easier on everyone else."

Vunivalu will also be targeted with high balls. (AAP Image/Daniel Pockett)
Vunivalu will also be targeted with high balls. (AAP Image/Daniel Pockett)

South Sydney targeted Addo-Carr several times last week with bombs, with Vunivalu also tested under high balls to the corner posts.

Addo-Carr defused the first two attempts before a blown bomb turned into a try for Bunnies excitement machine Dane Gagai.

O'Brien said both Addo-Carr and Vunivalu expect more of the same next week, against the winner of Friday night's semi-final blockbuster between Cronulla Sharks and Penrith Panthers.

"I think most teams realise the type of ball carriers they are so a lot of teams like to bomb them in the corner and get stuck into them in the first one or two tackles," O'Brien said.

"They probably do more reps at catching bombs than anything else, and certainly they're getting practice in games. They understand it's coming."

"We're a little bit harder (to target) now that we got Suli back (from injury)… if you're going to bomb one you're going to face the other one carrying the ball at some stage."



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