Dolphins kickers get 'Rich' thanks to AFL Lions maestro
Dolphins halfback Sean O'Sullivan and his fellow playmakers are relishing the kicking tuition provided by Brisbane Lions veteran Daniel Rich.
Rich, an All Australian 2021 and one of the sweetest kickers of the Sherrin throughout his 268-game career, has been on hand at Dolphins training to fine-tune the skills of the side's kickers ahead of the NRL season opener against Sydney Roosters on Sunday.
The 24-year-old O'Sullivan said Rich had improved his accuracy and tweaked aspects of his ball drop since working with him over the past four months.
They are both left-foot kickers so it not surprising that O'Sullivan has reaped benefits.
"Dan has been unreal. He is a great kicker of the footy and simplifies it really well," O'Sullivan said.
"A lot of AFL players hold the ball in front and take it down with one hand onto the foot.
"With a lot of leaguies we hold the ball with two (hands) and drop it. Then our hands go (away from the ball).
"He has been delicate with trusting our ball drop and having our hands in front of the ball. It has taken a little bit of time to adjust ... but the little subtle differences are definitely going to help us.
"In AFL the whole part of their game is kicking. We are striving to be more accurate. It is baby steps at the moment."
Rich was at Monday's training session and after he left O'Sullivan stayed out on the field and called where he was going to land his kicks. He landed most of them on a dime.
The Melbourne Storm have for years embraced the AFL to improve all aspects of their operations.
That has included leadership coaches such as premiership winning legends like Nick Maxwell, and now Joel Selwood.
Collingwood coach Craig McRae was the Storm's kicking and catching coach for seven years where he was a major influence on current halves Cameron Munster and Jahrome Hughes.
Former Storm forward Felise Kaufusi, now at the Dolphins, has been absorbed in that culture and O'Sullivan recalled what he said when he first saw Rich at training.
"When Fus' (Kaufusi) came over he said, 'bro, that's Dan Rich'. I was like, 'Yeah I know'," O'Sullivan grinned.
"Dan is a great person so we are very fortunate to have him at the Dolphins to help me and every single one of our halves."