Hughes earns Bellamy praise

15 March 2019 18:27:05 GMTPlus10

Coach Craig Bellamy praised new full-back Jahrome Hughes after Melbourne Storm started the new NRL season with a 22-12 win over Brisbane Broncos.

The New Zealander was playing just his seventh match in the No.1 jersey for the Storm, but hit the ground running as Bellamy's side started the post-Billy Slater era.

The 24-year-old scored the first try of the night inside three minutes at AAMI Park and made many damaging runs.

The spot opened up for Hughes after an injury to Scott Drinkwater in a trial match against the Cowboys, and Bellamy says his challenge now is to continue with that form.

"I might change my mind tomorrow when I have a look at the tape, but I thought Hughesy was our best player; I thought he was outstanding," said the coach.

"He had a whole heap of runs and he was very effective with a lot of things he did. His test will be to get consistent with that; he just needs to make sure he gets his consistency up there and perform like that week in week out."

Melbourne made it six straight victories against the Broncos, with Bellamy saying: "We are real happy to get the win and I thought it was a very high quality game for round one. There was a lot of pressure at times from both sides...I am really happy with the way our guys played."

Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold said centre James Roberts was in agony after suffering a lower back injury just six minutes into the game.

The incumbent NSW Blues centre, who was replaced by Kotoni Staggs, will await scans to determine the extent of the damage.

Melbourne Storm are 1.72 to win their next game against Canberra, who are 2.18.

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