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After celebrating his milestone 400 NRL games in style Cameron Smith says he’s happy to turn the focus back to the Storm and winning a premiership.
With his 400th NRL game done and won Cameron Smith says he’s looking forward to the focus shifting to Melbourne’s push into the NRL finals.
The competition leaders turned on a massive night for Smith – on the field with a 40-16 win over Cronulla, and off with much fanfare before and after the match to honour the stunning milestone.
Smith said he was looking forward to some normality after such a huge build-up.
“This has been looming for quite some time,” Smith said.
“As great as it’s been and how memorable tonight has been, and will be forever, it’s nice to get our focus back on our normal preparation and training.”
Smith had more than 100 family and friends attend the game, including the four members of the AFL 400-game club led by former North Melbourne great Brent Harvey.
The 36-year-old said he didn’t think there would be any emotional let-down and he’d learnt from his experience when he passed Darren Lockyer for the most games played.
“I’m really looking forward to the coming weeks,” Smith said.
“I remember my games record match at 356 against Parramatta when I got to that game I was really mentally fatigued.
“This time I asked to get all functions and commitments done early in the week and now I’m really looking forward to moving past this and getting on with the season.”
Craig Bellamy has coached Smith for all but two of those 400 games with the hooker playing two in 2002 under the coach Mark Murray.
He said in his 37 years in professional rugby league, as a player and then coach, he’d never seen a player who could perform at a high level so consistently for so long.
“Not only is he an icon of our sport but he’s an icon of Australian sport,” Bellamy said.
“I had childhood heroes as a kid and I’ve really admired other players but I’ve never seen anyone match the quality for so long.
“For me to be his coach for 398 games is quite surreal and sometimes I’ve got to pinch myself and realise how lucky I’ve been.”