The Melbourne Storm are into the Grand Final after a 30-10 demolition of the Canberra Raiders but Cameron Smith has left yet another incredible moment to his legendary career.
But it also appears to be the end as Smith was chaired off the field by his teammates in an amazing moment with the players creating a guard of honour for him as he was carried from the field.
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Now commentators are known for the odd piece of hyperbole but this is why Smith and all the greats are where they are — there is no quit in them.
Smith has been struggling with the decision over what he will be doing next year and a Grand Final might be the perfect way to go out, but he’s once again shown he’s still got it.
Leading 30-6 with 14 minutes remaining, the Raiders went wide through Nick Cotric, who kicked over the top and regathered the ball to seemingly just fall over the line to keep Canberra in the game.
But who else was there — the only Storm player there — to make the tackle but Smith with Cotric’s face falling millimetres from the line.
“37 years of age, I reckon this kid can play,” Andrew Voss said on Fox League.
“Stick around for another 10 years Cameron after that. Surely not, Cameron Smith saving a try on a 60m chase down field.”
Cameron Smith makes a miracle tackle.Source:FOX SPORTS
Greg Alexander said: “how did he not get the ball across the line? I thought all he had to do was reach out?”
But the tackle was so good, so solid, it knocked the ball out of Cotric’s grasp.
“That’s just about the greatest play of Cameron Smith’s career,” Voss said. “He’s at marker when Canberra started this rush.”
It was a spectacular moment arguably only matched when he was given an early mark with five minutes remaining.
He waved to the crowd and ran around the sideline, waving to the Suncorp Stadium crowd.
“That’s almost an indicator I am retiring,” Voss said of Smith’s waving to the crowd. “I haven’t seen too many players go on the half lap of honour. You’d have to think this is the last appearance at Suncorp.”
Alexander said after the Smith wave that he would “put my money on” it being his last appearance at Suncorp Stadium.
He’s playing more like a 27 year old that a 37 year old.Source:Getty Images
After the game, Cooper Cronk said he believed that Smith “knew he was going to retire for a long period of time, I think he’s told the team and everyone and the Melbourne Storm know and are keeping it in house”.
Smith himself told Channel 9 the reason he came off was because of the carry over points from the lifting tackle against the Eels in the first week of finals.
After rejecting a farewell at Suncorp earlier in the week, Smith has been sending plenty of mixed messages, even being chaired from the field through an honour guard, usually only reserved for retiring players, not that he doesn’t deserve it anyway.
But after the 30-10 win that sent the Storm into the decider, Smith at least still has one more game to play, with the hope of a fairytale finale to his unmatched career.
His dad Wayne Smith was interviewed on Fox League and said “I think he’ll let us all know after the Grand Final, he keeps it pretty close to his chest.”
Braith Anasta was perplexed as to why Smith wouldn’t announce his retirement after the celebrations.
“He’s going to get peppered by questions after this and so is Bellamy so why not (announce his retirement)?” Anasta said. “It’s quite obvious he’s going to retire. We know that now so why not put that to bed?”
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