Jahrome Hughes thrives amid 'underrated' tag as NRL masterclass prompts Dally M twist

The halfback often goes under the radar, but could be making a Dally M push.

Melbourne star Jahrome Hughes is starting to put his hand up as the premier halfback in the NRL having once again guided the Storm to another victory after an elite level performance. Hughes has long been considered by many as an underrated halfback in the competition who can be overshadowed - at least at first glance - when playing alongside Kangaroos five-eighth Cameron Munster.

Munster's impromptu footy is eye-catching and often draws the praise of commentators and fans. Hughes often sits behind the likes of Nathan Cleary, Daly Cherry-Evans, Nicho Hynes and others when the debate of best halfback emerges.

Melbourne halfback Jahrome Hughes (pictured) once again put in a player-of-the-match performance for the Storm. (Images: Channel Nine/Getty Images)
Melbourne halfback Jahrome Hughes (pictured) once again put in a player-of-the-match performance for the Storm. (Images: Channel Nine/Getty Images)

But in Munster's absence, Hughes has without a doubt been the form halfback of the competition across the last month and he once again showed it on Friday night having torn the Dolphins to shreds with his elite kicking game. While all eyes were on Ryan Papenhuyzen, Hughes was sensational and earned player-of-the-match honours. He scored a try, provided two try assists and kicked for more than 400 metres.

He was critical of his own performance and claimed he did "some dumb things" in his post-match press conference. Although this sentiment was not shared by Storm coach Craig Bellamy who was full of praise for arguably the best player in the NRL right now.

"He's always a little bit hard on himself and I don't mind that but I reckon he's had his best year in the NRL so far," Bellamy said. "He has been a real leader for us this year." And Bellamy's words appear to be shared by most fans. Last week, Hughes recorded four try assists and three line-break assists when the Storm came from behind to defeat the Warriors.

Jahrome Hughes runs the ball.
Jahrome Hughes (pictured) has been one of the form player of the NRL in recent weeks.

And comparisons to the game's best were inevitable after Friday night's performance with Hughes without a doubt proving to be the best halfback at club level in recent weeks in the competition. Penrith legend Greg Alexander was full of praise for Hughes and suggested his recent form has been close to unstoppable.

“He just brings something to the table every time he plays. What he’s done for the Melbourne Storm, not only this week but last week. Tonight he was brilliant. Everything he touches turns to… I’m not going to say gold, but it’s very (close),” Alexander said after Friday night's game.

“Whether it’s his passing, kicking, his decision making, Jahrome Hughes has been in scintillating form and tonight was no different. Again he proves what the Storm need to get the two points.” Before the start of the season, former Blues star Wade Graham claimed Hughes was still 'underrated' in the competition. He claimed the star wasn't praised as much as the other halfbacks in the NRL. And after last night, many suggested the New Zealand halfback could be in line for a late Dally M push with the voting now behind closed curtains.