Papenhuyzen try lifts Storm after blow to skipper Smith

By Sports Desk August 02, 2020

Ryan Papenhuyzen scored a wonder try for the high-flying Melbourne Storm in their 26-16 victory over Newcastle Knights.

A blow to captain Cameron Smith, who was forced off with a shoulder injury and could be sidelined for three weeks, took some of the shine off the Storm's success.

But it was another successful day on the pitch for Craig Bellamy's team, who have now won 10 of 12 games in the NRL this season and sit second on the ladder.

Melbourne's Suliasi Vunivalu and Newcastle's Bradman Best traded early tries before Smith suffered his shoulder blow when landing on it while scoring the Storm's second in the 24th minute.

Papenhuyzen produced his masterpiece in the 31st minute, with the 22-year-old full-back collecting a stray ball and racing from his own 10-metre line to score in the right corner.

Tino Faasuamaleaui dotted down for the Storm in the second half, between tries from Newcastle's Aidan Guerra and Enari Tuala.

The Parramatta Eels are third, also with 10 wins from 12, after sneaking home 18-16 against the Canterbury Bulldogs.

Brad Arthur's Eels side looked like streaking away with the win when they raced to an 18-0 lead inside 29 minutes, on the back of two tries from Clinton Gutherson and one from Mitchell Moses, who also booted three goals.

But they almost threw it away, with Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Jake Averillo and Marcelo Montoya slashing the deficit to two points by early in the second half.

Averillo added the extras to the tries from Faitala-Mariner and Montoya but could not crown his own score with the extras as the Bulldogs' comeback fell agonisingly short.

After the Eels went so close to wasting their early good work, coach Arthur revealed the post-game tradition of bellowing out the team song threatened to become a chore.

According to the NRL website, Arthur said "It was like a morgue in the dressing sheds. I had to ask them did they really want to sing the team song?

"But that's good because we're setting high expectations and we know we can be better. I don't want to take any credit away from the Dogs, either, because they rolled their sleeves up and threw plenty at us."

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  • Cam Smith retires: Storm and NRL legend's career in numbers Cam Smith retires: Storm and NRL legend's career in numbers

    It is the end of an era in Melbourne and the NRL.

    Cameron Smith – arguably rugby league's greatest ever player – ended speculation over his future by announcing his retirement on Wednesday.

    The 37-year-old star and future Immortal retires a one-club player – Smith was out of contract following 18 years with Melbourne Storm.

    After Smith officially put an end to his playing career midweek, we look into the numbers behind the Storm, Queensland Maroons and Australia legend thanks to Opta.

     

    430 – Smith holds the record for most NRL games following a glittering career in the Australian competition, having debuted for the Storm in 2002. He is the only player to have amassed over 400 appearances.

    310 – He also holds the record for most wins in premiership matches. Of those victories, 242 were as skipper – the most as a captain.

    2,786 – No player has scored more points in NRL premiership history than the hooker, well ahead of Hazem El Masri (2,418) and Johnathan Thurston (2,222).

    1,295 – Smith stands alone for goals kicked in the NRL – 353 more than any other player in premiership history.

    16,913 – Not just an elite kicker, Smith tallied the most tackles by any player since the beginning of the NRL era in 1998.

    3 – Smith ends his NRL career with Premierships in 2012, 2017 and 2020. It could have been five, but the Storm were stripped of Grand Final triumphs in 2007 and 2009 due to salary-cap breaches.

    42 – A Maroons veteran, he is the most-capped player in State of Origin history. Smith first appeared for Queensland in 2003.

    56 – Smith represented Australia more than fifty times. Only Darren Lockyer (59) managed more than Smith for the Kangaroos.

    33 – Lockyer (38) is the only player to have captained Australia on more occasions than Smith, who led the country to Rugby League World Cup glory in 2013 and 2017.

    2 – Smith was crowned the NRL's best and fairest player in 2006 and 2017. Only Thurston (four) and Andrew Johns (three) earned more honours.

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