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'It's exciting to think what's coming' - Russell

Photo Credit: M&M Sports Photography

Melbourne Storm’s Jersey Flegg side has enjoyed a whirlwind month in the Jersey Flegg competition, going on an unbeaten run of four games to rocket them into the top-5 of the competition.

After registering just the two wins from their first seven games, Storm didn't taste defeat in the month of May, winning all four games on the road in Sydney, with their last home match taking place all the way back on April 22nd.

What makes the feat even more impressive is that three of those wins have come against sides sitting in the top-6, while last weekend’s win over the Rabbitohs comes after the Bunnies handed Storm defeat at home back in Round 7.

Storm have had to do it without a portion of their Storm Academy members, with the likes of Poasi Manu, Stanley Huen, captain Keagan Russell-Smith all missing at various stages over the past month.

With a tough run of fixtures taking its toll, a number of local Victorians have stepped up to fill the void, youngsters Joshua Berryman and Suliasi Prescott both impressing in recent weeks.

Prescott, at just 19 years of age featured in Storm’s SG Ball side earlier this season before making the step up to the Flegg squad where he has now formed quite the duo with one of the competition’s best hookers in Gabriel Satrick.

Prescott has made the regular step up to the Jersey Flegg side this season.

“On the weekend we had only four Storm Academy kids in there and the rest were Jersey Flegg squad members and local Victorians and while we struggled with ball control at times, I thought everyone really worked hard in the all the effort areas that make the Storm so good,” Russell said.

“On the weekend we had Gabriel Satrick unavailable who is arguably one of the best hookers in the competition and we were in the fortunate position of being able to easily slot in Suli, who was the best, if not, one of the best players on the weekend,” he said.

Head coach Mark Russell said he's been pleased with the side's ability to bounce back and was proud of the squad’s development and growth throughout the season so far.

“I think that’s the most rewarding part of coaching the pathways position, you get them at the pre-season and get to watch them develop in leaps and bounds,” Russell said.

“Everyone in the squad is jumping out of their skin to get opportunities and it’s all come off the back of strong performances, blokes are fighting to get in the team as they want to be a part of that winning culture,” he said.

Three of the Storm’s past four wins have come by two-points, with Storm able to grind out results in what is a remarkable show of maturity and poise from what is a largely inexperienced squad.

Russell said the squad has begun to adopt the principles that make the Melbourne Storm so good, with an importance placed around effort areas and work rate rather than flashy and impressive football.

“It’s not always going to be pretty but if you base your game around effort and defensive movement, then I’d back them to win those kinds of games from here on in as they’ve learnt that through effort and not just football moments that you can find ways to win,” Russell said.

“A majority of our squad are still eligible for SG Ball so it’s crazy to think how mature they’ve been and how they’ve been able to close out those tight games,” he said.

“It’s exciting to think about what is coming in the next two or three years for the Melbourne Storm program,” he said.

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