Storm back row has right mix for success

One likes to play fast and loose, one is tough and methodical and the other is a bit of both.


Meet the Melbourne Storm back row.

The trio of Felise Kaufusi, Dale Finucane and Tohu Harris and their complementary strengths have been integral in the Storm’s surge to Sunday’s grand final against North Queensland.

The new face in the back row after being overlooked for last year’s grand final, Kaufusi has emerged as a genuine attacking threat, scoring eight tries this season.

While he has the flair, Finucane, who has lost three grand finals, is as tough a nails through the middle.

Harris, who is shifting to the Warriors next season, is also a tackling machine but has the ball-playing skills of Kaufusi.

“Felise has had an outstanding year,” Harris said.

“He’s played out of his skin this year and he’s getting through a lot of work, while he’s a dangerous ball-runner on the edge.

“In terms of Dale, I don’t know how he does it, the toll he puts on his body with the work he gets through.”

Finucane isn’t fancy but is a favourite of coach Craig Bellamy for his no-fuss, tough style of play.

“Obviously we have different strengths – Felise has that really good offload ability and guys like Tohu can also offload and have good footwork, so it’s good we offer different things,” Finucane said.

The 26-year-old lock is known around the club for his meticulous approach to each match although he said he was trying to loosen the shackles.

“At the start of the year I was really bad as I always had my mouthguard in right shoe and tried to sleep for two hours on game day,” Finucane said.

“I’d eat two or three banana sandwiches before the game but I’ve found myself getting out of a few of those habits and I’ve felt good because I’ve been able to relax a bit more without having to do those things.”