Sunshine Coast captain Tom Murphy hopes to see a whole lot more of Kurt Mann after watching the Melbourne NRL utility inspire the Falcons to their most complete performance of the season.
Seemingly demoted from the Storm, Mann played a significant role at fullback in his first outing for the Intrust Super Cup side as it beat Redcliffe 28-12 in a Round 13 clash at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday.
It was the Bokarina boys' fourth victory this campaign and second in a row, and it provided fans with plenty to get excited about after two wooden spoon years.
“He showed his class. He was just unreal for us at the back there," Murphy said of the 22-year-old.
“He probably defused a lot of things (in defence) that might have hurt us a couple of weeks ago.
“(And in attack) he just really got us going forward and he took those pressure plays, which was massive for us.”
“For our sake, hopefully it's one of many games (for Mann in Falcons colours), but for his sake hopefully he's back up where he deserves to be in the NRL.”
While it was not a flawless outing from the Falcons, there was plenty to like.
“That was the closest to an 80 (minute display) we've probably got to (this year),” Murphy said.
“We dug deep as a team and we completed most of our sets. There were a few little errors there but we defended them.
“There's still a lot of things to work on, but we can take a lot of positives away.”
Murphy made an early return from a serious shoulder injury that had kept him sidelined for two months.
He played most of the match and with zest.
Hooker Billy Britain went off with concussion one minute into the contest, forcing Jay Lobwein to settle into the role for much of the contest.
Some of the fringe Storm players enjoyed their best outings with the Falcons, suggesting the team is gelling with time.
Storm three-quarters Young Tonumaipea and Suliasi Vunivalu combined on the right side for one of the tries of the match, despite a swarm of defenders, to provide the Falcons with some breathing room in the second half.
The hosts led 16-6 at the break.
Mann's position at the Storm for its clash with Penrith last night was taken by Tohu Harris.
He moved into the centres from the wing to accommodate the NRL debut of Richie Kennar, who has impressed for Easts in the Intrust Super Cup.
But judging from Mann's outing yesterday, he could be recalled to the NRL side.
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 28 (Sam Young, penalty try [Travis Robinson], Suliasi Vunivalu, David Oakes, Jake Turpin tries; Ryan Hansen 4 goals) def REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 12 (John Brady, Jon Green tries; Josh Beehag 2 goals) at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
Sunshine Coast Falcons: 1. Sam Young 2. Young Tonumaipea 3. Travis Robinson 4. Rueben Baillie 5. Suliasi Vunivalu 6. David Oakes 7. Jake Turpin 8. James Ackerman 9. Billy Brittain 10. Ryan Hansen (c) 11. Joe Stimson 12. Jacob Samoa (c) 13. Jye Ballinger 14. Jay Lobwein 15. Johnny Vuetibau 20. Kurt Mann 19. Tom Murphy
Redcliffe Dolphins: 1. Josh Beehag 2. Tristan Lumley 3. Joe Bradley 4. Aaron Whitchurch 5. Curtis Johnston 6. John Brady 22. Tom Opacic 8. Charlie Faingaa 9. Darcy Etrich 10. Jon Green 11. Tyson Cleal 12. Harley Aiono 13. Trent Richardson 14. Hayden Hansen 15. Tom Geraghty 16. Nick Ritter 17. Taylor Brown