Storm brewing for Sea Eagles rematch
MELBOURNE Storm is keen to "get one back" against Manly Sea Eagles - on the scoreboard - after being stunned in a fiery clash at home earlier in the season.
Manly is the last team to beat Storm, way back in Round 11, in a game marred by a flurry of Curtis Scott punches to the head of Sea Eagles firebrand Dylan Walker.
Scott was suspended for two games, while Walker missed four weeks with a busted eye socket.
Walker returned last week against Penrith but picked up a knock to the knee. His availability remains uncertain.
Regardless, Scott is sure attract of a hostile reception from the fans at Brookvale Oval on Saturday, if not from the Sea Eagles themselves.
But Storm fullback-in-waiting Jahrome Hughes, who is on standby to replace Queensland State of Origin skipper Billy Slater, stopped short of fuelling the rivalry this week.
"We haven't really spoken about that (Scott-Walker punch on), the only thing we spoke about was them beating us last time and just wanting to get one back," Hughes said.
"I'm not too sure (if they'll target Curtis), I don't know if Walker's playing in the halves or the centres, not too sure, but that's not our focus this week."
While thrilled to blast away St George-Illawarra 52-30 last week and remain undefeated during the Origin block, Hughes said "leaking points" remains a concern.
"We still weren't very happy with our game on the weekend, it's back to drawing board especially with our defence," Hughes said.
"We don't like leaking points and leaking 30-odd is something we don't really like to do often."
Hughes, 23, widely tipped to replace Slater next season, has enjoyed a breakout season stepping in for the Maroons icon through injury and Origin commitments.
His performances effectively forced Storm coach Craig Bellamy to find a spot for him in the run-on squad despite a squeeze on positions.
"It was a big confidence boost, I didn't try and read into it too much but obviously heard about it," Hughes said.
"That's (confidence) something I've been lacking in the last couple of games, a bit of confidence, but I think I showed a bit on the weekend and I got to keep working on it."