Legend debunks contentious Munster theory

1 month ago 17
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Melbourne five-eighth Cameron Munster is an expert at knowing when to run the show and when to let his teammates weave magic of their own, according to rugby league icon Ruan Sims.

The NRLW great has debunked the theory that Munster's fading in and out of games is a blight, instead insisting he knows when to back off to allow Jahrome Hughes, Brandon Smith, Nicho Hynes and many of his other gun teammates the limelight.

Sims' comments have followed a scintillating Munster performance, in which the Queensland State of Origin playmaker dominated in the Storm's 34-20 win over the Titans on Thursday.

Munster finished the game with one try, one try assist, four tackle busts, two line-breaks, 30 tackles and 145 metres as Melbourne equalled the record 19-game winning streak of the 1975 Eastern Suburbs side.

"He's come into criticism a little bit throughout the year [with] people saying he drifts in and out of games. But I actually think what he does is he allows the players around him – there are players around him who are honestly on fire," Sims said on Wide World of Sports' The Final Whistle.

Melbourne five-eighth Cameron Munster throws a pass during the Gold Coast clash. (Getty)

"Jahrome Hughes has been playing good footy, Brandon Smith is playing good footy, Nicho Hynes is popping up throughout the middle, [Ryan] Papenhuyzen before he was injured ...

"[Munster] just allowed them to play their natural game and he played off the back and supported in whatever way they needed to be supported to be successful as a team.

"And then when those players either fall down or drift off ... he steps up and fills the void.

"And that's what makes him such a good player.

"He knows when to get in front of it, when to push from behind, when to support and when to play the leading role."

NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler labelled Sims' assessment of Munster "a good summation".

While the Storm have racked up 40 or more points in 11 of the 22 games they've played this season, they found themselves in an arm-wrestle in the Titans clash on the Gold Coast.

After taking another undermanned side into the game against the Titans – they were missing Hughes, Smith, Justin Olam, Nelson Asofa-Solomona and several other first-grade regulars – they trailed 16-12 at the half-time break.

Melbourne hooker Brandon Smith celebrates scoring a try. (Getty)

But Craig Bellamy's men then ran in four second-half tries to the Titans' one en route to victory.

Munster ignited the second-half surge when he burrowed over for a try on the left edge in the 46th minute.

He also pulled the Titans apart with a dummy and line-break from 60 metres out in the 70th minute to set up an Addo-Carr try.

"There's been times when they've been beating teams by 50 points and [Munster] just sits back and lets everyone do their stuff," Fittler said.

"They were playing the Titans [on the weekend] ... and I think it was close at half-time and he thought, 'Well I better step up here', and he won the game.

"Anytime the game's got close Cam Munster is usually the one that normally tweaks it towards their side. You don't see him in the 50s scoring that many tries or doing much of the brilliant stuff, but as soon as it gets tough he's the one that steps up."

Melbourne five-eighth Cameron Munster crosses for a try against Newcastle. (Getty)

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