CATHY ADAMS

Friend fancies Storm's chances

TOOWOOMBA rugby league product Nathan Friend believes the Melbourne Storm are on a potentially unstoppable run after winning the 2009 NRL premiership on Sunday.

The Gold Coast Titans hooker rates the Storm's core player group as an unrivalled force, predicting they could easily add the 2010 title to their collection.

“I don't think it is out of the question that they will get a couple more (premierships),” Friend said.

“They have that really strong core group of players and while they were in a bit of a rebuilding phase they only had a couple of inclusions.”

With the Titans out of the finals race, Friend admits he “had a few scratchies” riding on his former team succeeding against Parramatta.

Friend played for Melbourne when they lost the 2006 grand final to the Brisbane Broncos and said it came as no surprise they progressed to another three consecutive deciders.

“I always thought they were the form team. They were the team to beat, whereas Parramatta were the surprise packet,” Friend said.

“It is good to see those guys achieving.

“Once we were knocked out (of the finals) I was happy to see them go the whole way.

“Let's just say I had a few scratchies riding on the game.”

While disappointed the Titans were knocked out of the finals, Friend may well still have some good news in store, with the winner of the Paul Broughton Medal to be announced tomorrow night.

The Paul Broughton Medal, named after the club's founder and chairman, is awarded to the Titans player who accrues the most votes on a 3-2-1 basis, as awarded by coaching staff throughout the season.

The race for this year's medal is reported to be close, with likes of Preston Campbell and Friend figuring prominently alongside Ashley Harrison and co-captains Scott Prince and Luke Bailey.

In a first for the club this season, voting went public via the Titans website for the first 16 rounds.

Before voting went behind closed doors Friend was leading the charge on 18 points from Campbell (16), Prince (10), Harrison (10) and Bailey (7).


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