Head to head: Stewart v Slater
It’s the battle of NRL’s supreme fullbacks as Brett Stewart and Billy Slater go head-to-head at Brookvale Oval on Saturday night.
Stewart scored nine tries and tallied 17 try-assists in 19 appearances last season, proving the spark in the Sea Eagles’ attack and playing an essential role in his side’s drive towards Grand Final Day.
World Cup-winning fullback Slater scored 18 tries and averaged 138 metres per game in 2013.
The two fullbacks could well hold the key to their side’s chances, as they will look to exploit the tiring forwards up the middle.
Speed is a beautiful fixation on the footy field and there is nothing more beautiful than seeing Stewart and Slater in full flight.
These two players have the acceleration and pace to chop up opposition teams. Their blistering speed can catch forwards off their guard through the middle and leave outside backs chasing their tails.
Both players bring so much more than just a running game to their respected clubs. They’ve got the attributes similar to a five-eighth and can throw short and long passes to put players over the line.
Let's not forget why these players are at the back. The talk from behind the defence line is a true reflection of their leadership and character amongst their teammates.
There are few distinctions between the two. Stewart and Slater are both great under the high ball and their kick returns set the standard for each set of six.
Both Stewart and Slater love to float around the ball in support and pick out lazy defenders.
Regardless of the result on Saturday night, expect an exhilarating display of finesse and speed from these two stars of the game.