Melbourne Storm excitement machine Ryan Papenhuyzen has given a fascinating insight into how the team must play smarter after the game's greatest 'brain' departed.
Cameron Smith guided the Storm to three titles, but once he left, it's without the 'big three ' - Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater - for the first time in almost 20 years.
"He (Smith) was a genius, I think the main thing is trying to use your footy smarts when you're fatigued," he revealed after Saturday's 30-10 pre-season trial win over Newcastle at Albury Sportsground.
Trying to use your footy smarts when you're fatigued. It's very easy to go into a game knowing what you want to do, but when you have back to back sets defending, that set after ... you need to start picking their defence apart.Ryan Papenhuyzen
"It's very easy to go into a game knowing what you want to do, but when you have back to back sets defending, that set after you need to be switched on and you need to start picking their defence apart.
"Bill (Slater) was really good, he'd learnt for so long and he'd studied the game so much, he was able to flick a switch and tell somebody where to run because it might be best for the team, so just that sort of stuff, trying to decide while I'm under fatigue."
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The 22-year-old showed glimpses of his brilliant running game against the Knights, who admittedly were understrength, missing a handful of players, including boom fullback Kalyn Ponga (shoulder).
After controversially missing selection for NSW last year, Papenhuyzen is firming to play this year.