Fresh off a match-winning performance for Melbourne, Temora product Joe Stimson believes he’s really starting to make an impact for the Storm.
Stimson scored the winning try with three minutes left to help the Storm take a 16-13 win over Sydney Roosters on Saturday.
It was rated his best game yet and the 21-year-old feels as though he’s getting better in his first year in the NRL.
“I definitely think I’ve improved over the last couple of weeks,” Stimson said.
“My involvements have been a little better than what they have been.
“It’s just with getting a little comfortable in the team and the combination with my halfback and five-eighth.”
His combination with Cooper Cronk was only full display at AAMI Stadium as the star halfback helped set up the try before the Dragons junior still needed to do plenty of work to get over the line.
The 21-year-old has enjoyed a much busier year than he first expected.
Initially hoping to play a few games during State of Origin, he made his debut against the Warriors in round two and has now played 14 of the Storm’s 21 games this season.
He’s started in the second row for the last four, with an injury to Tohu Harris and his own good form keeping him in the side.
Harris is a chance to return when the Storm take on Newcastle this Saturday, but Stimson is happy to play whatever hand coach Craig Bellamy deals him.
“I’ve been pretty lucky with injury to get a shot,” Stimson said.
“It would be nice to keep it as long as I can and when Tohu comes back hopefully I can land a bench spot or something like that, but if not that happens.”
While revelling in the toughest rugby league competition in the world, the 21-year-old remains a country boy at heart.
He’s looking forward getting back to his to farm of his uncle Mark, who played 92 games for Balmain and Wests Tigers, after the season.
“I’ll be home in October for a little break,” Stimson said. “I’m pretty excited about it to be honest.
“I can't wait to get back to Temora and be on the farm for a little bit.”
But there is plenty to do on the football field before then including a chance to add another premiership with the Storm.
Despite the team sitting six points clear of the ladder three rounds until finals start, finals isn’t something spoken about at the club.
“We don’t really talk about the finals much, we just go week by week, but everyone is looking forward to having a good runs into the finals and building a bit of momentum,” Stimson said.