While his captain reached a huge milestone, Melbourne winger Suliasi Vunivalu quietly made his own mark in the Storm’s 40-6 NRL drubbing of Manly.
And his coach Craig Bellamy said the flyer could go on to become one of the game’s best ever.
The 21-year-old winger crossed just before halftime, which was his 38th try in two NRL seasons.
That put him level with four other players to achieve the feat in their first two seasons of first grade — South’s Alex Johnston, who is leading the NRL for tries this season, ex-Balmain flyer Larry Corowa, and St George greats Reg Gasnier and Ron Roberts.
Johnston has scored 16 tries in 2017, with Vunivalu and Canberra’s Jordan Rapana, who jointly topped last year’s tally, and Brisbane’s James Roberts on 14.
With five rounds to go Vunivalu is set to blast past the mark set by Gasnier and co., with Bellamy predicting he could become an all-time great.
“Suli’s a good player now but he’s going to be a pretty special player,” Bellamy said.
“He’s pretty footy smart, he’s one hell of an athlete as we’ve all seen and he trains hard and looks after himself.
“You’d like to think he’s going to have a real good career ahead of him.”
The Fijian, who is set to represent his homeland at this year’s World Cup, said he was flattered to be in such elite company and vowed to keep improving.
With his 39th minute try he burrowed over from dummy half, and said that was part of his evolving game.
“I just saw the opportunity there and in the past I would have looked to Cameron (Smith) or Cooper (Cronk) but now I’m backing myself more,” Vunivalu said.
MOST TRIES IN FIRST TWO SEASONS IN FIRST GRADE – 38
Suliasi Vunivalu (Melbourne) 2016-17
Alex Johnston (South Sydney) 2014-15
Larry Corowa (Balmain) 1978-79
Reg Gasnier (St George) 1959-60
Ron Roberts (St George) 1949-50