Usually, fans have to wait some time for the first golden-point game of the season but in 2014, it took just 4 games to go into extra-time, after the Melbourne Storm and the Manly Sea Eagles were dead-locked 22-all at the end of regulation.
Enter Cam Smith, the leader and the veteran of the players – and taking on more responsibility with no Cooper Cronk – slotting home a field goal with ease, as he gave his side the victory and a 23-22 win over arch rivals Manly.
With the two building up a rivalry in recent years, it was Manly with all the early momentum and they left the Storm for dead after a terrific first-half that saw them go up 20-0.
In true Storm fashion, however, their resolve and ticker showed as they clawed their way back, led by their skipper in Cam Smith and his tremendous abilities.
A game at Brookvale is never easy and for Smith, not only did he describe the win as perhaps the greatest comeback he has been a part of, but he also pointed out just how hard it is to come from behind at Brookvale.
“Given the location, given the ground that we’re playing at, it’s hard to peg back six or eight points usually against these blokes, let alone 20,” Smith said.
“We weren’t doing a whole lot wrong when we had the ball in the first half, we just didn’t have it. We got our fair share in the second half, we applied some pressure to Manly and we got rewarded for it.”
Smith knows that the effort and resolve his side showed took a lot of character and he was pleased with his side’s performance.
“To come back from 20 points down at this ground, it’s pretty special effort by the boys. I don’t know a whole lot of teams that would have done what we did tonight so I’m just very proud of the effort that we showed in the second half and the character to stay in the game,” said Smith.
“We could have quite easily just said ‘they’re too good for us tonight’ but we hung in there and came up with the goods.”
Having not kicked a field goal before, Storm coach Craig Bellamy laughed that he should have changed the gameplan to get someone else to kick the goal.
“I had no idea he hasn’t kicked one before, I probably would have made a different decision if I’d known. Benny Roberts, he had a shot at one stage, it would have been him or Benny Hampton,” Bellamy said.
3. Cam Smith
2. Brett Stewart
1. Steve Matai