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Olam flying high after deluge of homeland love

Justin Olam celebrates a try against CanberraPHIL LUTTON
| Sydney Morning Herald

SYDNEY - Justin Olam looks uncomfortable when his airborne try against the Raiders in the preliminary final comes up in conversation.

The Storm star is not the kind of player who seeks the limelight, let alone the highlight reel, and points out that the only reason he had to take off in last week's game was to clear a player on the ground, not to add flourish to the finish.

It looked spectacular enough without the embellishment.

With Nick Cotric making the error in his in-goal area and the Storm already on an early roll, Olam saw the ball pop up and leapt over teammate Ryan Papenhuyzen, who had put in the initial kick.

He instinctively launched himself at the ball, pulling it to his chest and soaring horizontally until he came crashing to the turf for the try.

It put the Storm up 24-0 after as many minutes and snuffed out Canberra's hopes of a second straight decider.

Olam's sheepishness at the mention of it is part of why he's become a beloved part of the Storm.

Teammates marvel at his humility off the field, but his willingness to turn himself into a human cannonball on it.

More than anything, Olam can feel the love, not just from those in the Storm bubble, but also from his homeland of Papua New Guinea.

Should Melbourne win today – and should Olam take flight again – the roar will be heard all the way to Homebush.


JuzzyHeight: 178 cm
Date of Birth: 23 December 1993
Weight: 92 kg
Birthplace: Kundiawa
Age: 26
Nickname: Juzzy
Club: Melbourne Storm
Debut: 06 May 2018

2019 was a stunning breakout year for Juzzy, who was called up to first grade in round 15 after a string of impressive performances at feeder level. Plays with seemingly no sense of self-preservation, his fearless style has won him countless fans in Melbourne while thousands more watch him every week in PNG where he has become a national hero.


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