Blair loss not end of road for Storm - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blair loss not end of road for Storm

Steve Jancetic 31/08/2011 09:25:49 PM Comments (0)

Of all the representative stars you could take out of Melbourne, Adam Blair is probably the most expendable.

That's not to say the Kiwi international is not a tremendous player but being rubbed out of the finals series by the NRL judiciary is by no means the end of the Storm's premiership hopes.

As Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens put it: "I'm sure they'd be more worried if it was their star halfback."

Of the big four on the Storm's roster, which would you choose to miss a game if you had to - Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith or Blair?

While they're not quite a dime a dozen, wide-running backrowers are in good supply at the Storm.

Sika Manu, Kevin Proctor, Todd Lowrie - they can all do a similar job, though perhaps without the explosive power of Blair.

What might be missed most is something Parramatta coach and former Storm assistant Stephen Kearney touched on during his role as character witness at Wednesday night's hearing.

Kearney described Blair as a leader, someone others look up to when times are tough.

In a season where the Storm have attempted to regain credibility following last year's salary cap debacle, Blair has not missed a game.

The Storm can now at least move on from the saga, which isn't the case for Manly, who will return on Thursday night in a bold attempt to get Glenn Stewart off the same contrary conduct charge.

It could be argued too that Stewart means more to Manly than Blair does to the Storm, given the influential role he plays in the Sea Eagles' right-edge attack.

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