Retiring from representative footy has helped Cam Smith and it shows, guiding his Melbourne Storm side to a win over the Brisbane Broncos.
The 32-16 win at AAMI Park was a game that Smith controlled for the most part, particularly with his kicking game.
It started with the sides trading penalty goals before Darius Boyd reminded QLD selectors that he is available.
He cut back inside past Storm five-eighth Cam Munster and scored the opening try of the game.
It was then an error from Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu that gifted the Broncos a second try.
Jamayne Isaako gladly accepted the invitation, scoring off a Broncos scrum play.
The Storm would hit back through the departing Young Tonumaipea who is embarking on a Mormon mission from July.
The Storm utility back beat four defenders to work his way over the line and get his side back in the contest.
The momentum stayed with Melbourne, as QLD Origin debutante Felise Kaufusi powered his way over the try-line.
The Storm’s third try in a row went to Cam Munster who stopped, shimmied and then sidestepped his way over.
The Broncos were not down and out, though, targeting an injured Josh Addo-Carr to score.
Jordan Kahu was the scorer on that occasion.
There would be no late flurry, though; two further Storm tries to Vunivalu and Jahrome Hughes sealed the win.
It was all smiles and praise from Storm coach Craig Bellamy who lauded the performance of his captain.
“He always steps up every week, but to go out and perform like he did is a real credit to him,” he said.
“If he hadn’t played today, we would have been in a little bit of trouble. He was outstanding.”
The Broncos are left to rue missed opportunities following the loss.
After proving dominant in the first half, they were the opposite in the second half.
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett made his feelings known about the tale of two halves.
“The second half, the Broncos didn’t come out – I don’t know where their jerseys were at,” he said.
“In our first five sets, we got one set away. That’s just not good. That’s the last thing you need. Our intensity dropped a lot.
We weren’t getting off our line very well.
“Tackles weren’t hitting and sticking. Everything you can name in the game, we stopped doing.
I don’t know what I said to them at half-time to put them in that place, but that’s how they came out second half.”
Player of the Game:
3. Cam Smith
2. Cameron Munster
- Tevita Pangai Jr.