Jacks up to NRL speed for surging Storm

Ryley Jacks says he's starting to feel like he belongs in the Melbourne Storm NRL side
Ryley Jacks says he's starting to feel like he belongs in the Melbourne Storm NRL side

Confidence has never exactly been an issue for a Melbourne Storm halfback.

But after helping steer the team to a 124-point avalanche over the past three weeks, Ryley Jacks admits his self-belief has skyrocketed in the No.7 jumper.

The defending premiers got off to a rocky start this year when, with youngster Brodie Croft at the helm, they opened with a 2-3 record over the first five rounds.

But their search for the long-term replacement of Cooper Cronk could be over after Croft was axed for Jacks, and they've since gone on a three-game winning streak.

Jacks conceded he needed some time to find his feet at NRL level.

"I've felt more comfortable and more confident the more games I play. Playing (Queensland Cup) at the start of the season doesn't really prepare you for NRL," Jacks said on Monday.

"The pace is just next level. It took me a while to get back into that rhythm of first grade footy but I think now after three games I'm starting to feel pretty confident."

Jacks deputised for Cameron Munster in a round-one win but had to wait until the Storm dropped out of the top eight at the end of round seven to get his next shot.

And the Brisbane product has rewarded coach Craig Bellamy's faith with two try assists and two tries in his three games so far.

"After that first game I was a bit off the pace, just felt it in myself," he said.

"(But) after playing three games, you get confident and that rhythm of the game. I think it'll be better this week and hopefully just keep going from there."

The Storm face arguably their toughest challenge of the young season when they face ladder-leading St George Illawarra at Jubilee Oval on Sunday without some key players.

Tim Glasby (thumb) and Curtis Scott (ankle) are likely outs after picking up injuries last week, however Dale Finucane (thumb) and Suliasi Vunivalu (hamstring) are set to return.

Jacks said the Storm would be ready for a possible Dragons ambush.

"We've got to keep that start that we've had the last three weeks and keep playing our style of footy," he said.

"(If the) Dragons want to do some different stuff in defence and try and stop us, we'll adapt to that as well."

Australian Associated Press