Coach counting on Olam


SUNDAY’S National Rugby League decider will see the Penrith Panthers face the Melbourne Storm but the game has been described as the “Penrith Panthers versus Papua New Guinea” because of the support PNG international Justin Olam will be getting from home, in what is the 26-year-old’s grand final debut.
“It’s definitely unreal but for me personally I just try not to think about it and I’m just trying to treat it like a normal game,” Olam said this week.
It was Olam’s hard tackles and dedication to the game that first caught the eye of PNG Kumuls coach Michael Marum.
“He wasn’t scared at all of anyone and he always put his body on the line even in training,” Marum said.
Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy has also praised centre Olam’s physical presence on the field, saying that as a player, Olam would run though a brick wall if asked.
But no-one sings the praises of the former SP Hunter more than fans at home.
Meanwhile, Bellamy is backing his left-edge attackers in Olam, winger Josh Addo-Carr and forward Kenny Bromwich to trouble the Panthers at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
Jesse Bromwich’s younger brother has emerged from the shadow of his sibling and teammate to help the Storm to their fourth grand final in five years.
Graduating from last year’s bench utility role, Kenny’s subtle touches and clever lines have complemented the speed of Addo-Carr, brutality of centre Olam and creativity of five-eighth Cameron Munster.
That devastating combination has taken the heat off rake Cameron Smith in the middle of the park and freed up Jahrome Hughes in his first full year in the No.7 jersey.
“I’ve always been defensive-minded but we made a real point this year, especially with the rule changes, that we had to change some of the things that we did,” Bellamy said.
“The strengths of our players; we’ve been able to use those more often and work a way that we could integrate those strengths.
“There’s been a bit of experimenting to be honest, at training and in games.” Before last week’s preliminary final victory, the Storm had scored 16 tries in the set after a set restart — the equal most of any team this season — and almost 20 per cent of their tries from inside their own half in a clear sign the experimenting has paid off.
“It was hard in the start (to work out Munster); a lot of the time he doesn’t know what he’s doing,” Bromwich said. We’re pretty tight … had a lot of time together, me, Munster, Foxx (Addo-Carr) and Juzzie (Olam).
“We just use each other’s strengths really well.
“Munster does what he wants, we’ve got Fox with his speed, Juzzie will run through a brick wall and I try to add a little bit of creativity there and run the ball when I can.”
Addo-Carr said playing outside Olam — nicknamed “the human brick” — had its benefits.
But he said the introduction of back-rower Bromwich was the final flourish.
“We’ve got a really good mix of smarts, power, speed and Cam Munster ugly,” he said.
“Kenny’s a real leader in our side; plenty of chat.” – Agencies
“He’s always been a good player but after coming off the bench the last couple of years, he’s found his spot and he’s an unsung hero in our team.” – Agencies



  • Good on you, Olam, you’ve done PNG proud & getting to that level is not an easy task. Playing in the NRL will always be a dream for every young PNG men in PNG. There are so many good players from the Pacific & so many from Europe also. But I guess, only the best get into the NRL & you are one of them.

    Together with Josh Addo Carr & you (Olam) on the wing are a very good combination so keep it up, great combination.

    finally, the NRL Grand finale is going to be a exciting match because all of us here in PNG will be supporting you & the Storms.

    Apparently, I’m not a storm supporter, instead I support Dragons & Rabbits but because you are a Kumul Player & also with the Storms so I’m going to support the Storms.

    I hope you put the first try or a hat trick will be great for all of PNG in the grand finale.

    In Milne Bay Province, we don’t play League but with your presence in the NRL it has put a different outlook of the game.

    Milne Bay, Alotau

  • Yes it’s a pleasure that a Papua New Guinean can play in the NRL and to make it worse, a PNGean is playing in the final. It means that next PNG rugby players can make it to the NRL too. Go Olam PNGeans are at your back.
    Simbai Kaspar SSY

  • Proud of you Olam. Will be first to seat before TV and watch you play. Give your best coming Sunday and knowing for sure we are screaming for you. Thumbs up brother. Go storms go Olam!!!!!!!!!!

  • Go Storms Go!
    Go olam Go!
    We pledge and salute you for the achievement you’ve been through to be the best centre in one of the best team (STORMS) in NRL.
    Hats removed to you the best coach in the “Craig Bellamy”.

  • Go Justin Olam and Team Storms we PNG proud of you Olam and easpacialy SSY People and in our language we said Helaga Dima…
    I will support you and your Team.

  • Iam a Canberra Raiders supporter and honestly speaking I had a good gut feeling the GF would be between Storms and the Panthers.
    With our very own Justin Olam playing in his debut for the Storms in the GF, really gives me and the whole of PNG a thousand good reasons for supporting the Melbourne Storms in the GF. A win will be a win for JO & PNG. All the best to JO and his Storm team.

  • First, I thank the Storms management for recruiting two local players from PNG, Marcus Bai and now Justin Olam. That is why I support team Storms in NRL. Olam, PNG is behind you, go for it like there is no tomorrow. The shield is on your side. Go Storms!!

  • Go Olam, I’ve supported since 1988 and still do but I always support my country men when they play. You are the man for today’s grand final. I know you are going to score a couple of tries and someone is going to hear bells ringing when you tackle them today. Go Olam ..SALUTE SALUTE

  • I agree to Kevin Eliesa’s comment above.
    Though Storms isn’t the team we support but we must support the PNG Hero (JO), who is putting our great Nation into spotlight.
    Go JO, make PNG proud and give us a WIN.


  • Melbourne people must not forget this fact,,, the grand finale is Panthers vs PNG…we the whole Nation is behind Justin Olam & storms

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