NRL 2021 - Cam Smith (GOAT?) Hangs 'em up

Statue unveiling seems to have brought it home and he’s popped the cork on his career.

37 and 5 GF Victories under the belt is a fair effort.

Cheers Cam, the game will miss you.

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Glad I don’t have to watch him play for the Titans, sad I won’t see him play again

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All-time NRL great

I Hope Essendon is throwing all the money to get his leadership ability down at Tulla

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We are so privileged to have watched him dominate the league along with Slater for nearly 20 years. They’re a huge reason that the storm have a strong fan base.

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Greatest hooker I’ve seen play.

Didn’t watch enough storm games to really appreciate him.

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Not sure he’s as great a leader as he was a player.

Not a slight a he was the greatest player.

He knows more about winning trophies than the entirety of our playing group though

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Hopefully he gets a statue out the front of AAMI Park. I reckon that would be pretty cool.

Smith is undoubtedly the GOAT of Rugby League. The ultimate professional who never faulted, always performed and was always a class above on the big stage. I’d actually have him up there as one of Australia’s greatest ever athletes.

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Who?

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Settle sunshine. Let’s see him get immortal status first.

Both king Wal and Joey John’s say hi.

Def the best hooker I’ve seen though and I reckon it’s only a matter of time that he eventually does get considered.

The statues of him and Slater at AMMI park were unveiled today, that’s where he announced his retirement.

The statues don’t look like them at all, lol.

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Smith has them both. He’s the best I’ve seen. Just played the game on a level no one else could. Not the fastest, strongest or the most skilled. Just the best, he saw the game differently and made so few mistakes.

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That is a BIG call. Andrew Johns was sublime.

He was amazing. I put him ahead of Thurston, Slater and Cronk. Just not Smith.

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Smith is amazing, played over 400 games of rugby league at the highest level is insane.

And an unbelievable hooker and def an immortal. For longevity and sustained brilliance he is up the top of the list.

We did get 250 out of Joey. But nothing like that sort of level for that length of time.

Just some of the things I saw John’s do on a football field.

That James Hooper is a grub. Fancy writing this on the day Smith retires.

Hooper: Smith deserves to be remembered as a champion – but not as one of the great blokes

No question Cameron Smith will be celebrated, remembered and revered as one of the greatest rugby league players to ever lace a boot.

It’s a shame he won’t also be championed as one of the all-round great blokes.

Few Australian Kangaroos captains have polarised public opinion like the Melbourne Storm skipper.

Smith was a serial winner whose ice-cool nerve in big games bordered on sociopathic.

But despite two decades, 430 NRL matches, 56 Test matches for Australia and 42 State of Origins from Queensland, did we ever get to know the real Cameron?

The three-time premiership-winner will rightfully go down as one of the greatest players of all time due to his durability and longevity in one of the NRL’s most unforgiving positions.

But walk into any pub and ask the front bar their thoughts on the former Queensland and Australian captain and you’re guaranteed to spark fierce debate.

An elusive customer on the field, in many ways Smith proved just as elusive off it.

His reluctance to return text messages from some of the biggest names in rugby league over the last three months is a classic case in point.

There is no doubt Smith’s penchant for lecturing referees to the point of standing over match officials polarised fans.

Was he a protected species because of his lofty standing in the game? One hundred per cent.

His reluctance to ever really own what happened during the Melbourne Storm salary cap scandal of 2010 is another highly divisive subject.

Did he or did he not sign two contracts? Smith has never answered the question.

As for his fall out with great mate Cooper Cronk – there’s another cryptic riddle wrapped inside the Smith enigma.

The wishy-washy jibber-jabber offered up in his recent memoir only made things worse. What drivel.

Then there was the way he mastered the art of generally trying to jiu-jitsu the living daylights out of opponents to the point of submission.

Smith often moans about missing the 2008 grand final after being suspended for trying to pull Sam Thaiday’s head off.

In the fair dinkum stakes he’s lucky Thaiday is as tough as he is.

Would any other player have got away with his ear pulling antics on Raiders players Bailey Simonsson in 2019? Unlikely.

Or who could forget the grubby knee into the back of an injured Raiders centre Jarrod Croker’s knee in the 2016 finals series? Cheap shot.

His allies and acolytes claim Smith is a misunderstood, laid-back champion Queenslander who longs for the quiet life away from the cameras with his family.

His enemies counter he is a cold, calculated, closed book who can be arrogant and aloof.

Wherever you stand, one thing for certain; Smith is probably the greatest serial winner rugby league has ever produced.

What a F’ing wanker :-1:

He’ll be an eventual immortal quite easily champ. In terms of longevity and endurance he is the best I’ve seen. Has Johns and Lewis covered quite comfortably. To amass over 500 combined games at both a club, state and country level is extraordinary. As I said on the big stage he most definitely always delivered.

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Of course he will be.

John’s I think put Smith ahead of himself when asked who was the greatest of all time.(Of course he would).

Some people will have Thurston or Wally. I really enjoyed watching Fittler play as well.

John’s to me just appeared like an absolute rugby league wizard. Haven’t seen a footballer like him since.

And these are just the guys I was lucky enough to have watched.(and to be fair to Lewis I didn’t really see enough of him).

Smith is remarkable. 430 games first grade games. That is an insane number.

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