Enigma, definition: A person or thing that is mysterious or difficult to understand.
That is certainly how Cameron Munster must have felt to the New South Wales Blues in game one of the 2022 State of Origin series.
He doesn’t fit squarely into any definition of a playmaker, nor does he have a signature step, pass, run or move that defenders can’t handle.
He’s a tornado ripping around the field, probing for weakness then bursting through.
Who do you compare him to? Based on natural instinct, you could make an argument for Brett Kenny.
But Kenny didn’t wrestle out of tackles with pure strength, he glided through defences, swerved fullbacks and sold dummies.
Jonathan Thurston? He could run the ball with the best of them and control a game. But he had a trademark show and go. He’d throw it in the fifth minute as readily as the 79th, constantly testing a side’s right edge defence.
But Munster doesn’t do that.
Benji Marshall had it all. The side step, the goose step, the flick pass and the cut out ball.
But Munster is a little more understated than that.
Darren Lockyer had the drift across the line before he accelerated into a gap.
But Munster is more physical.
Sure, there are probably kids in Queensland who try to emulate him, but there is no attacking trademark.
He sort of drifts across the field, probing the defence, challenging a defender to break from his teammates and chase him, then a quick shuffle of the feet, a strong fend, a slight dummy, and boom, he’s through the gap.
It’s almost as if he saunters his way through a defensive line.
Among his contemporaries he’s different.
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Recalling a legendary player or former coach is often tempting for a club trying to recapture former glory. But rarely does it work, and often it tarnishes the coach’s legacy.
Harry Grant has filled the Melbourne Storm boots of Cameron Smith and seems to be taking the hooking position to the next level.