Hughes finding feet at No.7 for Storm

Scott Bailey
Jahrome Hughes set up two tries in his first outing as full-time halfback for Melbourne Storm

Jahrome Hughes' first outing as a full-time halfback has been deemed a success after helping Melbourne to another round-one win over Manly.

Hughes played six games in the halves at the end of last year, but was able to spend his first full pre-season as a playmaker over the summer.

He set up two tries by kicking nicely for winger Suliasi Vunivalu, as the pair combined twice in the space of three minutes in the Storm's 18-4 win on Sunday.

The Storm have Cooper Johns and Ryley Jacks as their other options in the halves, but Hughes is the clear first choice of the trio for the season.

"There's a couple of things he would need to improve on, but he is certainly a natural footy player," coach Craig Bellamy said.

"He knows where to be at the right time. Just learning the nuances of halfback play, he hasn't done much kicking.

"That was a really important thing for him to practice and get better at. I thought he was one of our better players today to be quite honest."

Both of Hughes' kicks got in nicely behind Manly winger Jorge Taufua.

Bellamy also expects Hughes and Vunivalu''s combination to continue to flourish too.

Vunivalu is one of the tallest wingers in the NRL at 192cm, and could also benefit from the NRL's new rule which stops attacking players being tackle in the air while marking a kick.

"Suli is so good in the air we probably try and go to him every week, no matter who is playing on the left-edge for our opposition," Bellamy said.

"I was probably disappointed we didn't go to him more in the first half.

"(Hughes) had a couple of opportunities in the second half he missed but he got it right in the second half."