Warriors back-rower Ryan Hoffman will become the 26th player in premiership history to bring up 300 first grade appearances this Saturday.
The former Kangaroos and Blues stalwart has racked up 54 games for the hapless Warriors since linking with the club in 2015, but he is best remembered as a 245-game Melbourne Storm great. Hoffman played for the Storm from 2003 to 2014 – interrupted by a season at Wigan in 2011 in the wake of the club’s salary cap scandal.
A three-time premiership winner with Melbourne (though two were stripped from the club in 2010), Wind-back Wednesday recounts Hoffman’s rare feat of scoring the first try in two separate grand finals.
The expert hole-runner steamed onto a Brett Finch pass in the fifth minute and ran 15 metres to post the opening try in the 2009 decider, setting the Storm on course for a 23-16 victory over Parramatta.
At almost exactly the same point of the 2012 grand final, Hoffman again attacked his favoured left edge off a carbon-copy Cooper Cronk ball – although he had less distance to travel before reaching out to open the scoring. Melbourne went on to defeat Canterbury 14-4.
The veteran of six Tests and 14 Origins boasts a handy career total of 69 tries in his 299 NRL outings – seventh in premiership history for a forward behind Steve Menzies, Frank Burge, Bob McCarthy, Ron Coote, Ray Price and Anthony Watmough.