Melbourne Storm 27-25 Sydney Roosters: Smith seals thrilling golden-point win

By Sports Desk July 02, 2020

Melbourne Storm produced an incredible comeback to beat reigning NRL champions Sydney Roosters 27-25 in a golden-point classic at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday.

The Storm trailed by 10 points with 11 minutes remaining but took the lead thanks to quickfire tries from Jahrome Hughes and Paul Momirovski – both of which were converted by Cameron Smith

Kyle Flanagan's successful penalty was followed by a drop goal from Luke Keary in the final minute to send the Roosters back in front, but Ryan Papenhuyzen landed a one-pointer of his own before the buzzer.

Smith then kicked a successful penalty in the fifth minute of additional time to earn Melbourne back-to-back wins in a thrilling encounter.

The Roosters were out to make it six straight victories since the league resumed and led 12-6 at half-time – Flanagan and Josh Morris crossing either side of Josh Addo-Carr's try.

Hughes gave Melbourne a foothold in the match two minutes into the second period when racing away and touching down under the posts.

But the Roosters pulled away through Brett Morris and a second try for his twin brother Josh, with Keary unable to convert the latter in the 70th minute in what proved to be a costly miss.

Hughes danced through the opposition defence to give the Storm hope, however, and Momirovski helped complete the comeback two minutes later.

Then came another late twist as Flanagan nailed a penalty given away by Suliasi Vunivalu, before Keary split the posts from 30 metres out.

But Papenhuyzen levelled up right from the restart to take the game all the way and Smith kicked the golden points following a lapse in judgement from Jake Friend.

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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.

  • Storm and NRL great Cam Smith announces retirement Storm and NRL great Cam Smith announces retirement

    Melbourne Storm and NRL great Cameron Smith officially announced his retirement from rugby league on Wednesday.

    There had been ongoing speculation over Smith's future, with the NRL's most-capped player linked with both Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast Titans after relocating from Melbourne.

    But the 37-year-old star will retire a one-club player after a record 430 games with the Storm, three NRL Premierships and two Dally M Medals.

    Smith also captained Australia to Rugby League World Cup success in 2013 and 2017.

    "I've spent a few months now up in Queensland with the family. For me I look back on my career and just found that I'm very fortunate to be part of an organisation with great people and footballers," Smith said ahead of the 2021 season, which gets underway on Thursday.

    "It felt like the right time after the finish to last year. You couldn't have asked for more than finishing with a premiership at a club I've played my whole career."

    Smith was out of contract following 18 years with the Storm in Melbourne.

    The 42-time Queensland Maroons legend, who earned 56 caps for Australia, led the Storm to NRL glory last year.

    "I've been wrestling with the decision for quite some time. In the weeks after the season had finished guys like Billy [Slater] and guys I've grown quite close to, just trying to talk to them about my situation and how they came to the conclusion as to when it was the right time," Smith said.

    "After last year winning the Premiership I still felt good physically and mentally. I still thought my form was good enough to play in the NRL but after spending time with my family in Queensland I knew it was the right time to finish.

    "It's a chance to enjoy the next phase in my life and hopefully it's still in rugby league in some capacity. In my head I probably made the decision a week ago but knowing the unveiling was today and I was going to be in Melbourne I thought it was a good time to announce my decision.

    "I started here with Billy at Olympic [AAMI] Park in 2002 so this is where I wanted to end it. Given the amount of time I've spent here and what I've built with Billy, Cooper [Cronk], Ryan Hoffman, Jesse Bromwich ... guys who have put in effort to build the Storm as an organisation.

    "As a rookie I always thought I wanted to be a one-club player. Sometimes those choices are taken away from you but thankfully I've been able to do that for 19 years here."

    Storm head coach Craig Bellamy added: "I think he's the greatest player I've ever seen. For what he's done, no one has gone over 400 NRL games and 100 rep games, and the success as captain it's quite remarkable.

    "I can't see it happening again. It's hard to describe his effect on our club and the game. The biggest thing is how long he's done it for. When he told me this morning I was always genuine in that I said last year he deserved the right to make a decision when he was ready.

    "For me the most important thing was that Cameron and his family be happy and I stand by that.

    "It would've been strange for me to watch him in another jumper but that's obviously not going to happen. At the same time I still would've been his number one supporter even if he was playing against us.

    "Hopefully we can keep Cameron around the club. If we can get him to give advice to our ruck plays and dummy half, his leadership is unparalleled."

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