Only The Good Dom Young and the Meaney of Life

Another day, another trial. This was a tasty dessert after a big Sunday lunch of NRLW, with Melbourne and Newcastle showing why both of them are going to be good teams this year.

The Storm don’t really need much of an introduction at this stage, and they get knowing “they’ll go alright” nod that commentators love, so let’s not spend much time on them. You know them. You probably don’t like them. They definitely don’t care.

The Knights, however, are going about it all in quite a strange way. They seem to have decided, against all conventional wisdom, that investing your cap in your halves isn’t the go, and yet (admittedly off a sample size of two trials) that seems fine.

Jake Clifford picked up another try, Adam Clune set one up with another raking long pass and their combinations seem to be coming together. They’ll go alright.

Melbourne Storm 24 – 10 Newcastle Knights

Dom Young is going to be a problem this year

There’s not been a good English winger in the NRL since…well, the Winfield Cup. Dom Young came into the comp last year and looked alright, nothing special really, scored a few but dropped a few too.

This season he seems like a different beast. For one, it looks like he’s put on weight – the official Knights website lists Young as 2m tall and 107kg, which would make him about the biggest winger in the NRL.

For reference, that makes him taller than Jason Saab and Daniel Tupou, heavier than Maika Sivo and Mikaela Ravalawa and all the while, still rapid. In fact, if you’re interested, it’s bigger than Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (who he’s also faster than).

Size isn’t everything (stop sniggering at the back) but it went a long way into ironing Xavier Coates out of the game, and some of his carries were returned with real venom.

Young played on the left on Monday night, but with Enari Tuala back tonight, shifted over to the right – on either side, he looks dangerous. Hymel Hunt is scratched for the start of 2022, and is Young keeps up this form, he won’t get back in.

The big worry for 2022 might be that be that he plays himself out of Jamaica contention and into an England shirt.

Nick Meaney might be the signing of the year for Melbourne

Nick Meaney is a fairly unassuming guy. Think of his face: you can’t. No, that’s Jake Avarillo.

Meaney has played 65 games of first grade over the last three years, but given that 60 of them have been for the one of the worst Canterbury Bulldogs teams ever, nobody really noticed.

Well – nobody except Craig Bellamy. Bellamy knows all and sees all, and he saw something in Meaney.

The signing wasn’t particularly heralded, but it might prove the pickup of the year, especially given the strong likelihood of places being available in the Melbourne backline as the year goes on.

Ryan Papenhuyzen has struggled to get on the park consistently, Xavier Coates went off hurt today and that leaves George Jennings or Dean Ieremia as competition.

Meaney ended up playing in the 6 for a bit here, which isn’t his strongest suit, but that’s not going to be his permanent position.

Not insignificantly, Meaney is also a killer goalkicker – which might get him on a wing alone.

Nicho Hynes kicked them last year, and when he was off Cameron Munster and Ryan Papenhuyzen had a go – neither particularly well.

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