NRL 1 month ago

Slater focuses on return to NRL best

  • Slater focuses on return to NRL best

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 16: Billy Slater of the Storm warms up prior to the round three NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos at AAMI Park on March 16, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Melbourne star Billy Slater has turned his attention to getting match fit after coming through his NRL comeback from twin shoulder reconstructions unscathed.

Slater will make consecutive appearances in the NRL for the first time in almost two years when he lines up for the Storm's round-four date with Wests Tigers on Sunday.

"It was a big week for me last week," Slater said in Sydney on Tuesday.

"I hadn't played much footy over the last two years and to get back onto the field for the first time in 12 months was quite nerve-racking.

"But I'm glad it's over now and I can just focus and concentrate on my performances going forward. I'm looking forward to the Tigers this Sunday and hopefully I can build."

Speaking at the launch of Powerade's Powerscore sports performance measurement system at North Sydney Oval, the veteran fullback said he had set his sights on returning to the Slater of old.

The former Australian No.1 last played back-to-back NRL matches in May 2015.

"I felt my pass selection wasn't the greatest on the weekend. My involvement was good and I want to maintain that but just a few things performance-wise, I want to focus on," he said.

"Last week I didn't focus on performance too much, I just focused on my mental state and how I could get through that game."

The ladder-leading Storm will be gunning for a fourth straight win against a Wests outfit rocked by the sacking of coach Jason Taylor.

Slater believes the drama will only provide further motivation for the Tigers who are "tough to beat" at Leichhardt Oval the best of times".

"It'll galvanise them more than anything," he said.

"It'll bring them together and it'll make them feel a little bit responsible for what happened. I'm sure their performance will be a lot better than what it was last week."

The game will mark just the second time 33-year-old Slater has faced off against incumbent NSW State of Origin custodian James Tedesco.

"He's just so dangerous every time he gets the ball, he's very quick and agile," Slater said.

"He just makes himself hard to tackle. He wants to compete and that's all you can ask."

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