Updated: Apr 1
Fewer athletes, in any code or league of world sport, are more breathtaking or more fun to witness than when Josh Addo-Carr breaks into the open field.
And if the Melbourne Storm winger isn’t the NRL’s fastest player, then it’s a very short and exclusive list of those who rate ahead of him on pace.
While Addo-Carr is one of two players who will hit the 100 games milestone for the purple and gold on Good Friday against the Brisbane Broncos, with Christian Welch being the other, the charismatic and effervescent 25-year-old Addo-Carr has looked back on his previous 99 fixtures with the Storm with great memories.
It’s those memories – which, since 2017, includes being the Storm’s leading try scorer in each of the last four seasons en route to winning two NRL Premierships and going to three grand finals overall, along with nine State Of Origin matches for New South Wales – that Addo-Carr will look to build upon before linking up with the Canterbury Bulldogs from next season.
“There’s definitely not too many players who have played that many games for the club, and I’m proud to be one of them,” Addo-Carr said this week on anticipation of reaching his ton for the Storm after his 2016 move from Wests Tigers.
“To be there among some of the greatest players ever to play the game [in Cam Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk] along with some of my current teammates, I love doing that, and it feels very special,” added Addo-Carr.
Storm fans will point to many of the 74 tries that the player nicknamed “The Fox” has scored for the club as nothing short of spellbinding.
And win or lose, Addo-Carr will always give his maximum effort, whether it’s a dash down the touchline or laying a key tackle.
“It was a tough loss against the Penrith Panthers, but as long as we can learn and grow from that this week, that’s the main thing,” Addo-Carr said about the loss to the Panthers in Round 3.
“We pride ourselves in making those one-percenters, and that’s what cost us against Penrith. We lost – literally – by an inch,” he added.
Welch, who Addo-Carr shares the special evening’s accolades with, is known for his hard inside running and tackling as much as Addo-Carr is heralded for his breakneck speed.
It’s an odd-couple alliance – or the Storm’s version of “drive for show, putt for dough”.
And a partnership that Addo-Carr holds in high esteem.
“He’s one of the toughest players I’ve ever played with,” said Addo-Carr.
Welch has done well to rack up his ton amid suffering a pair of devastating ACL injuries in the last couple of years.
And Addo-Carr remains awestruck of the work rate Welch has put in to get back into the Storm’s first team.
“Full credit to him – he’s worked hard, he’s earned an Origin jersey, and I have no doubt that he’ll represent Australia in the World Cup later this year.
“He’s just a quality player for us, and I’m so proud that he’s achieved 100 games in the NRL and for Melbourne Storm at the same time,” added Addo-Carr.
And Welch equally relishes the honour of the night, and his own previous 99 games in Storm colours.
“It’s very special, to be honest – as a kid, you dream of playing one NRL game, let alone 100 of them,” he said.
“To play 100 games for this club and be on the list alongside a lot of other players you admire really is a special honour for myself,” Welch added.
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