Cameron Smith is now the great all-time scorer in NRL history, as his Melbourne Storm side beat the North Queensland Cowboys in a close affair.
Passing the mark in the 49th minute of the Storm’s win with a penalty goal, Smith surpassed previous record holder Hazem El Masri.
Both teams started rather sluggishly but the Cowboys pressure eventually saw them score the first points.
Michael Morgan’s crossfield kick saw Gavin Cooper soar highest to bat the ball back for Te Maire Martin to score.
In relative control of the match for large parts of the first half, a Morgan 40/20 then gave the Cowboys more chances.
Although they were only able to come away with a penalty goal to lead 8-0.
Not a team to rest on their laurels or admit defeat easily, the Storm hit back on the stroke of half-time.
A lovely pass by Cameron Munster saw Will Chambers slice right through to open the scoring for the Storm.
As both teams defended strongly, it was another penalty goal that saw the scores draw level and Smith break the record.
Not one to make his own mark in a game, Josh Addo-Carr nabbed two tries to put the Storm in the box seat.
Though the Cowboys showed resolve of their own, as a Jordan Kahu flick pass saw Ben Hampton score.
The Cowboys loss was worsened by a suspected compound fracture to winger Nene Macdonald after a collision with team-mate John Asiata.
Despite their loss that keeps them near the bottom, Cowboys coach Paul Green was pleased with how his side performed.
“I was proud of the way we played tonight,” Green said.
“I think we showed it in patches but never really consistently, in particular when we’d been under pressure in games up to this point.”
“We had a good win here against the Dragons but in the other games when the pressure was applied to us we probably didn’t show that.”
Having been around Smith for most of his career, Storm coach Craig Bellamy lauded his record-breaking captain.
“We’ve seen a lot of quality players in our game but I think that quality he’s shown for so long, to me, it makes him the best player I’ve seen,” Bellamy said.
“He’s tough, too.
Obviously Mother Nature was polite to him and given him a body that has allowed him to absorb the rigours of 18 seasons of NRL which is unbelievable, especially in the position that he plays and the size that he is.”
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Jahrome Hughes
2. Cameron Munster
- Michael Morgan