Cameron Smith of the Storm runs in to score a try.
Cameron Smith of the Storm runs in to score a try. Scott Barbour

One last honour in reach for Storm skipper Smith

NRL: Cameron Smith has won every conceivable award possible, except for Dancing with the Stars and a Clive Churchill Medal.

The 33-year-old Melbourne Storm hooker may never win Dancing with the Stars but he could complete his bulging trophy cabinet with the Clive Churchill Medal as the man of the match in Sunday's NRL grand final against sentimental favourite Cronulla.

Cronulla, which joined the competition 50 years ago, will be hoping to send out Smith's rival Michael Ennis with a history-making win, after losing its last grand final (Super League) to Brisbane in 1997.

Smith has won the Dally M best and fairest medal (2006), been hooker of the year three times, twice captain of the year, a dual representative player of the year, the game's Golden Boot winner (2007), and a three-time winner of the Wally Lewis Medal for State of Origin player of the series (2007, 2011 and 2016).

The major grand final award will not be Smith's motivation to play well against his fierce rival Ennis.

But if Melbourne wins the clash, the chances are both he and teammate Cooper Cronk will be high in voting.

Smith's best season was in 2011, when he won the Dally M hooker of the year, representative player of the year and the Wally Lewis Medal.

After leading Queensland to another State of Origin victory over Paul Gallen's Blues earlier this, a grand final victory as man of the match would top that.

Ennis will make life as annoying as possible for Smith, and he will have to deal with a lot of heavy traffic in the middle.

The Sharks forwards hunt as a pack and the likes of Andrew Fifita, who has been damaging in the finals, Matt Prior, who was outstanding with 233 metres and 36 tackles in the win over the Raiders, Chris Heighington and a fired-up Gallen will be gunning for Smith.

Smith has copped some heavy flak recently over an incident with Canberra centre Jarrod Croker in the preliminary final when he appeared to run some distance to shove Croker in the back after Cronk had scored in the 32nd minute.

Smith is already seen by many to get favoured treatment from referees and with no action taken against him over the Croker incident, it has only given his critics added ammunition to fire at him.

Smith, though, is the coolest cucumber in the NRL and the one thing coach Craig Bellamy can count on is his captain keeping his head if the game is on the line in the last five minutes.

While Smith may carry some sway with the referees because of his reputation, the one thing you can't deny is he is a champion at turning a game with a kick or a pass or a run out of dummy half.



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