Another key cog in Queensland’s State of Origin dynasty stepped down yesterday, with Cameron Smith dropping a bombshell representative retirement announcement.
Smith will leave a lasting legacy as a key figure in many club, state and national team successes.
In honour of his representative career, the Ladbrokes Blog looks back at some of the best bits of Cam Smith’s career (so far).
He’s a Winner
It is by and large unfair that someone could have as much success as Cameron Smith has had.
Premierships, Origins and game after game after game after game where his side seemed to always be the one to come out victorious.
Usually that could be attributed to him pulling off something remarkable during the game, or just plain outworking his opponent.
For many people south of the Tweed, they will be glad to see the end of those photos of Smith holding the State of Origin Shield aloft after another series win.
The Origin Debut
With the 2003 series already gone and New South Wales confirmed as winners thanks to two dominant victories, the Maroons turned to some kid from the Storm to play in the number nine jersey.
Smith became the Maroon’s sixth different hooker in the dead rubber and made sure that nobody else would sniff the jersey for the next six years.
Having just kick started his club career, Smith put his stamp on the jersey, capping a miraculous performance with a try.
Since his debut, he only missed one Origin game, the opener in 2010 due to injury.
Ending the ANZ Stadium Drought
Queensland won Game 1 of the 2007 Origin series but had to go to a place they were 0-11 at for the second game.
Smith put in a man of the match performance racking up 42 tackles in the Maroons’ drought breaking victory.
Origin 2017 Game 2
2017 was a year of comebacks and Queensland’s revival in Game 2 of Origin was one of the high points for Smith and company.
While most of the focus was on Thurston’s game winning kick, Smith’s work steering the team around to get them back in the game was a work of genius.
Origin 2017 Game 3
In what turned out to be his final Origin appearance, Smith saved one of his best games for last, with his performance in that game being singled out by Kevin Walters during his retirement press conference.
As decorated as his Origin career was, his club career has produced some pretty memorable moments too, although he’s a chance to still add to this list.
Round 1 2014: The Comeback & The Kick
Smith might not be known for big field goals to win games (instead leaving that responsibility to trusted lieutenants) but he has come up big when called on.
The Storm trailed Manly 20-4 at halftime at Brookvale, one of the toughest venues for an away side.
A miraculous comeback was capped with a Smith field goal in golden point to cap things off.
2016 Game Winner 1
Perhaps that winning kick against Manly lit a fire under Smith as he came through in the clutch twice in their 2016 season.
Smith smartly took a field goal, the second of his career, with ten minutes to go for the decisive point in the game
2016 Game Winner 2
A couple of months later, Smith slotted yet another field goal, this time in Golden Point to win the game.
It was his second clutch kick of the evening, having nailed a 79th minute penalty to level the scores at 14 apiece.
Cooper Cronk had already missed one attempt for the Storm and Smith was the man to win the game.
He Once Made a Kick While Slipping Over
After a thorough review of the footage, this was definitely not intentional, definitely not showing off but still bloody impressive.
He Can Do Two Things at Once
They say men can’t multi-task but Smith has mastered the art of playing and refereeing games simultaneously.
Ok it’s an old joke but Smith’s ability to pick his moments with referees making sure they know what to look for is right up there with the best in all sport including George Gregan and Richie McCaw.