‘Sometimes I’ll be crap’: Munster a work in progress

Jasper Bruce |

Cameron Munster’s game in Melbourne’s win over Brisbane was another stepping stone in his recovery.
Cameron Munster’s game in Melbourne’s win over Brisbane was another stepping stone in his recovery.

Cameron Munster is resigned to feeling below his best, sometimes playing “crap” and needing to tackle mental demons on his comeback from a groin injury.

Melbourne five-eighth Munster missed the opening month of the 2024 campaign after hurting himself in a pre-season shower mishap but returned to the field against Brisbane last Thursday.

The 29-year-old was solid in the Storm’s 34-32 win without producing any moments of signature brilliance. Critically, he has felt fit in the days that have followed.

“My lungs were burning but other than that I felt pretty good. I surprisingly pulled up really well from the groin after the game,” Munster said on Monday.

The Storm had been unsure as to Munster’s return timeline throughout the opening weeks of the season as he battled his frustrating injury.

The Queensland State of Origin hero had been struggling to run as recently as late March and remained under an injury cloud in the days leading up to round five.

Cameron Munster.
Munster said his ‘lungs were burning’ after playing the Broncos. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

Ahead of Friday’s clash against Canterbury, Munster is still working towards full fitness.

“I think for me, (it’s) just mentally trying to get through those demons, my body’s probably going to be 70 to 80 per cent most games and I’ve just got to be mentally strong enough to play and get through it,” he said.

Munster said he needed to accept inconsistencies were part of his return to fitness.

“It was a good stepping stone on Thursday night,” he said.

“I’m not going to be great 100 per cent each and every week, but at times I’m going to be pretty good and then sometimes I’m going to be crap.

“For me, just getting my head right and being able to do whatever I can and just the little things for the team.”

Now he’s back on deck, Munster is eyeing uninterrupted time playing with the Storm’s other three first-choice spine players.

Prior to Thursday night, Munster, halves partner Jahrome Hughes, hooker Harry Grant and injury-plagued fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen had not played together in the same Storm team since July 2022.

Munster was hopeful a fit spine could push the Storm further than last year’s preliminary final berth.

“It’s been a while since we’ve played together, us four,” he said.

“If we can stay on the field more times than most other teams, it’ll hold us in good stead into the season and hopefully the back-end of the year we can go really well.”

AAP