Melbourne Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen has put on an NRL masterclass, scoring four first-half tries in the space of 11 minutes against the Brisbane Broncos.
Papenhuyzen, who missed last week’s clash with the Panthers due to a neck injury, produced a total of 24 points in the first half following a slow start which saw Melbourne trail Brisbane early in the match.
The 22-year-old scored tries in the 25th, 29th, 34th, and 36th minutes, all of which came off support play. He also converted on all four efforts off his own boot.
The total of 24 points scored is the most by a single player in a half of football since 1980.
Legendary Melbourne Storm fullback Billy Slater couldn’t help but laud the first-half effort of the young gun, stating that he believes Papenhuyzen will captain the club at some point in his career.
Ryan Papenhuyzen scores try No.4 in just the first-half
“He’s improved the balance of his game,” Slater told Nine.
“He was an out and out runner in his first season – he scored tries, created linebreaks.
“But the last two seasons he’s created more opportunities for the people around him. The passing game has improved and the understanding of manipulating defences has improved.
“He’s fast becoming one of the best fullbacks in the game. He’s got a great attitude, he’s a real mature young man.
“He has leadership written all over him. I see him as a future captain of the Melbourne Storm.”
A humble Papenhuyzen credited his teammates after the match for putting him in scoring positions.
“I don’t create the work there,” he said.
“The boys get the linebreaks and I’ve got to finish it off. A lot of credit to them.
“When we’re playing flat and it’s up the middle, it’s pretty dangerous.”
Fans on social media were quick to react to Papenhuyzen’s performance, with many taking to Twitter to express their excitement at the Melbourne young gun’s masterclass.
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