CAMERON Smith said after a 250th-game romp – in which only a stray seagull managed to put him off – that he hoped to chalk up the triple century with the Storm.
His comments came on the same day he was quoted as saying he would put himself on the open market for the end of next year. He would not be able to achieve his aim of 300 games at the same club if he returned to Queensland, which he says is tempting, at the conclusion of 2014.
“It would be nice … to make that 300 club,” said Smith, who was feted at fulltime with his family but missed a conversion shortly before halftime when a seagull distracted him.
“There’re not too many blokes who are in that club, particularly for the one organisation. That would be pretty special to do that.
“I’ve been very lucky in my career to play the amount of games I’ve played in the position I play in. A lot of people joke around, and I joke around, about my physique but that’s probably contributed to me playing so many games.
“I’m not the most masculine bloke getting around. I bend a bit in tackles so it’s helped me out. I haven’t had many injuries.”
He said leaving the Storm would be a difficult call. “When I first started playing – you ask my wife, you ask my family – I always wanted to be a one-club man,” Smith said.
“I’d be extremely lucky to do that but that’s something for the future, for myself and my family to decide on. It’s a very important thing. The next contract I sign, it’s probably going to be the last one.
“It’s important that I make the right decision but as far as playing 300 games in one place, that would certainly be high on the list.”
Team-mate Billy Slater described the thrashing as one of Melbourne’s few complete performances all season. The bird arguably did more damage than the Sharks, who posted a late consolation try.
Smith said: “Geez he put me off, he rattled me, the old seagull. But I couldn’t have asked for a better effort from the boys.
“The win’s a bonus. I was just looking for a good performance from the team tonight, building on what we did against the Roosters a couple of weeks ago.
“The boys looked fresh. They must have enjoyed their week off last week.”
Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan lamented a dismal end to a four-match winning streak. “They all tried really hard but technically, we weren’t very good tonight,” he said.
“We fell off tackles, made some poor decisions in defence, and our offence was off as well.
“I’m disappointed about the loss but I’m probably more disappointed about our performance.”
Origin star Luke Lewis said: “What you see is what you get with Melbourne. You know they’re going to turn up every night and we didn’t turn up.
“They took us to school tonight.”
Smith concluded: “We’re back playing the way everyone knows the Melbourne Storm can play – that’s starting well, being ruthless with our football, putting pressure on opposition teams for the whole 80 minutes.
“That was as close and you get to playing a complete game for us.”
Filed for: SYDNEY MORNING HERALD