Retiring Slater leaves a mark on Melbourne

By admin • 苏州性息 • 18 May 2019

Billy Slater. Photo: AAPWin or lose, Friday night’s NRL preliminary final against Cronulla, Billy Slater has left an indelible mark in Melbourne.
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Ahead of his last game at AAMI Park, and dependent on the result possibly his final NRL match before retirement, Slater has been honoured with a giant mural painted on a wall just a stone’s throw from the ground.

The 35-year-old, who has spent almost half his life at the Storm, said he was humbled to have a mural commissioned by the club and painted by Sid Tapia.

“It’s an iconic precinct here in Richmond with AAMI Park over the road and the MCG – it’s a great area for sport so to have my mug on the wall is pretty humbling,” Slater said on Tuesday.

The mural is an image from last year’s grand final of Slater holding up the premiership trophy, wearing the Clive Churchill medal for best on ground.

The fairytale would be to bow out repeating the feat, with the team coming first for the Test and Queensland fullback.

“The beauty of my situation is that the position that we’re in is far bigger than myself,” Slater said.

“If we play well we’ll give ourselves the chance to play in a grand final and that’s what we’ve all been working really hard for, for the last 11 months.

“Either way it’s my last game in Melbourne so it’s pretty special.”

The match pits possibly the game’s greatest ever fullback against Sharks custodian Valentine Holmes, the form player in the competition.

Slater said the Storm radar was pointed right at Holmes who can both set up attacks and be a damaging runner in his own right.

With a dominant recent record between the sides, Cronulla had a three-point win at AAMI Park in their round 22 meeting and Slater predicted another thriller.

“The 80 minutes on Friday night means everything, not what’s happened in the last few games,” Slater said.

“I don’t think there’s a whole heap between the two teams. Both have great, aggressive forward packs, creative halves and skill out wide to finish off tries so whoever plays the best will find themselves in the grand final.”

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