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Friday, September 22, 2023

NRL finals 2023 | Nelson Asofa-Solomona’s vow to ‘create that chaos’ in Storm-Panthers preliminary final

Melbourne Storm enforcer Nelson Asofa-Solomona has fired off a warning ahead of his side’s preliminary final against the Panthers declaring he’s ready to create chaos.

Throughout the 2023 season, the forward has shuffled between prop, second row and coming off the bench, but summarised his role perfectly when speaking to 9News. 

“Being a big boy you just have to use your strengths, just f—ing run hard,” he said.

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Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has once again used Asofa-Solomona’s versatility by naming him on the bench for the prelim after starting at prop against the Roosters in the No.16 jersey.

The New Zealand representative said no matter what the message is from his premiership-winning coach, his response is always similar. 

“He just says, for instance last week, he said I’m going to start you, so instantly I knew what he needed from me and I just said ‘yes coach’ and then that was it, hung up the phone,” he said.

Stream the NRL premiership 2023 live and free on 9Now

The major task for Asofa-Solomona this weekend will be taking on the fearsome Panthers front row of Moses Leota and James Fisher-Harris.

His desire is to play an “infectious” role for the Storm as they search for another grand final appearance, having last played in 2020 as the last side to defeat the Panthers in the decider.

NRL Highlights: Storm v Roosters – Finals Week 2

“Obviously you want to create that chaos for the boys, it’s infectious,” he said.

“When the boys see that, you’re really hoping that the guy who takes that carry after you gets some energy from that and tries and gets another quick (play the ball) and try and build momentum.”

Penrith hooker Mitch Kenny, who will likely defend the damaging ball runner in the middle of the field described the 115kg giant as an “animal”. 

“He’s massive and he’s so damaging, he’s a great player for them and definitely deserves our respect and attention,” he told 9News.

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