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3 hours ago | Tim Costello
Josh Addo-Carr has been a key figure for the Melbourne Storm since joining the franchise in 2017. Craig Bellamy's men were on another level in 2017; losing just four of their 24 games during the regular season.
Addo-Carr was influential in almost every fixture, touching down for 19 tries whilst making several crucial tackles on defence. Furthermore, he notched two scores in the Grand Final - Melbourne fans will remember that day for many years to come.
However, teammate Suliasi Vunivalu finished as the NRL's top try scorer with 23 scores last year and Addo-Carr will be determined to claim that coveted accolade this time around.
As of April 10th, the 22-year-old has notched 11 tries in nine league games this season; Vunivalu has scored five. Addo-Carr has been Melbourne's standout player in 2018 but he has competition in the form of New Zealand Warriors winger David Fusitu'a at the top of the NRL's try-scoring charts.
Fusitu'a has been outstanding for the Warriors in 2018; also scoring 11 tries in just nine NRL games. TVNZ reported that their right-hand side, namely Fusitu'a, Shaun Johnson and Peta Hiku were averaging two tries per game at the start of May.
With so much strength, speed and directness on that side, Fusitu'a will continue to see a fair few scoring chances fall his way over the course of the campaign. Storm fans will be hoping that Addo-Carr can maintain his own momentum in the top try scorer race.
According to bet365's NRL betting, Melbourne are 4/1 to retain the crown and punters will fancy the Storm to improve and feature in September's showpiece event. Melbourne are capable of finding their best form at the business end of the campaign.
At just 22 years old, Addo-Carr could be an elite star in Australia's elite club competition for the best part of a decade. He has touched down for 34 tries in just 36 appearances during his short Storm career and he is in contention for a State of Origin selection this year.
New South Wales coach Brad Fittler has praised Addo-Carr in recent months and he is only going to improve with age. Addo-Carr could be the difference maker, given the opportunity.
Will Melbourne @Storm's Fox - Josh Addo-Carr - run away with a NSW Blues State of Origin jumper this year? (Artwork via the brilliant @BooBaileyTele) pic.twitter.com/x4TYJYBDuC
— Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport) May 10, 2018
The Storm winger and Fusitu'a are four tries clear of their nearest rivals and it looks like a two-horse race for the top try scorer award. Fusitu'a may struggle if opposing teams decide to focus on defending that dangerous right-hand side whilst Addo-Carr shouldn't have that issue.
Teams cannot focus too much on Melbourne's top scorer as Vunivalu will flourish on the other flank - the Storm are blessed with elite finishers on both sides of the field. Watch this space; Melbourne could bounce back and Addo-Carr is the man to lead that comeback.