Gympie’s Tino is an NRL champ, makes Maroons squad
THE boy from Widgee said he wanted to win a ring for his family, and for his Gympie Devils.
Last night he got his wish. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui is officially an NRL champion.
The 20-year-old and his Melbourne Storm teammates made it tough on themselves, but held on for a thrilling 26-20 victory over the Penrith Panthers in front of a packed ANZ Stadium crowd.
And that wasn’t all – following the big win Tino was named in the extended Queensland Maroons squad to take on NSW next month.
The Storm had to whether a powerful storm working against them in the second half, with the rampaging Panthers turning a 22-0 half time buffer into a mere six-point deficit in the dying minutes.
Down two sin-binned troops, the Storm desperately clung on to their one score lead and eventually secured their fourth premiership trophy.
Tino was used sparingly off the bench, playing 12 minutes in the first half and just 10 in the second, according to the NRL website.
That was by far the least time on ground for any Storm player, but Tino still logged 48 metres on 6 runs, with 12 of those metres coming post-contact.
He was seen embracing legendary Storm captain Cameron Smith after the full time siren.
It’s on to the Gold Coast Titans for the giant second rower next year, but he has closed his Melbourne Storm chapter in the best way possible.