Storm prepare for kamikaze Kaufusi - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm prepare for kamikaze Kaufusi

By Wayne Heming 26/03/2009 06:35:12 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne's defensive bulldog Dallas Johnson is tipping former Storm teammate Antonio Kaufusi to be loaded with aggression in Saturday night's NRL joust with the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville.

A week after feeling the sting of another former Storm trooper Israel Folau, Johnson will confront the full fury of Tongan Torpedo Kaufusi who has thrived in the tropics under new Cowboys coach Neil Henry and fitness specialist Billy Johnstone.

"Antonio will come out with a lot of aggression," Johnson said when asked about facing his former teammate on Saturday.

"He's a big boy, he'll want to make some strong carries.

"There's a fair chance he will want to get up and whack a few of us as well.

"I'm tipping he'll be pretty pumped."

Johnson, who hails from Atherton in north Queensland, has a tackling technique not unlike another Queenslander, Trevor 'The Axe' Gillmeister, renowned for hitting forwards in the rib region, leaving them in considerable pain.

Kaufusi, 24, who has already played Origin and Test football, played close to 80 games for the Storm, including being part of the club's 2007 premiership winning season.

Johnson said on Thursday he'd be ready should the 112kg Kaufusi come charging his way.

"He may come looking for me, I'm not to sure, but if he does, I'm sure I can handle him," he said.

"We'll be ready for him."

The super-fit Johnson has made an amazing 104 tackles in his first two games this season.

He's expecting another exhausting workload against the free-running Cowboys who re-discovered their attacking flair against a helpless Wests Tigers last week.

"Hopefully I won't have to make that many (tackles) again," said Johnson of his successive half centuries.

"They're pretty hard to contain across the board from hooker Aaron Payne who's also very skilful at getting his forwards involved.

"Then you've got Thurston (Johnathan Thurston) and Matty Bowen, so you have to be really on your game for the entire 80 minutes."

Storm five-eighth Greg Inglis was surprisingly quiet against Brisbane last weekend but is unlikely to pull out two subdued performances in a row.

"I'm sure GI will be fine," said Johnson.

"He didn't have his best game by his standards last week and I'm sure he'll be fired up this weekend to go out and have a real crack.

"He's matured a lot as a footy player.

"He wouldn't have been too happy with his effort last week and he'll be ready for a big one this week.

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