The second half wasn’t even 10 minutes in but Bellamy saw benefits for team and player if he both tied the game and claimed Hazem El Masri’s record for most points in NRL history.
In the post-game press conference, Bellamy made a point of explaining his thinking as he was concerned Smith wouldn’t take the kick in case he looked selfish.
“I thought it was the right thing for our team to tie the game up and the right thing for him to get the record as well,” Bellamy said.
“But he hesitated because he probably thought he looked selfish in taking the kick, he always wants to do what is best for the team.”
Smith went back, lined up his left boot and slotted the goal.
In the background two of his three children – daughter Jada and son Jasper – celebrated. They were ball kids on the night, and they sneaked in for a quick hug with their dad after his teammates and some Cowboys opponents had their chance to congratulate him.
“I did have a moment thinking, ‘Please don’t miss this and put this off any longer’,” Smith told Nine after the match.
But Smith was later quick to praise the many players and coaches who have helped him reach the points milestone. He also praised El Masri as a “magician” when it came to kicking.
“It’s quite a monumental achievement, but while you are still playing it’s not something you think about too much,” Smith said.
The Storm managed to not only take Smith to the record but claim a valuable 18-16 win in a fiercely contested game.
They are now 5-0 and top of the NRL heading into their two weeks of big games as they play the Sydney Roosters, the team who beat them in last year’s grand final, at AAMI Park on Good Friday, and then play New Zealand Warriors in their annual ANZAC night game against New Zealand Warriors.
Defensively the Storm are keeping in games despite an attack which oscillates wildly between being unstoppable and unmanageable.
On Friday they were more of the later completing just 24 of 36 attacking sets. Bellamy knows that if that number is repeated against the Roosters they will be on the end of a loss.
“We have gone five rounds and we are still undefeated so you can’t be too critical,” Bellamy said.
“Tonight was our worst completions [figure] but I’m quite happy with the way we are going but if we drop the ball again like we did tonight then I’m sure the opposition is going to make is pay dearly.”
The NRL match review committee cited Cowboys forward Josh McGuire for contrary contact for his alleged eye gouge on Cameron Munster, which will see him hit with a fine. If the league felt the act was deliberate they could have hit him with a more serious charge.
Munster chose not to make an official complaint against his Queensland teammate while Storm forward Christian Welch can avoid a suspension if he takes an early plea for a dangerous contact charge on Te Maire Martin in the final minutes, he will be one charge away from a ban.
The Storm also announced on Saturday they had released centre Cheyse Blair so he could take up a three-year deal with English Super League club Castleford.
Blair played 38 games for the Storm after winning a place on the list for the 2016 season and he was a starting centre in the 2016 NRL Grand Final.
The Storm play Sydney Roosters at AAMI Park on Good Friday at 7.55pm.
Roy Ward is a Sports writer for The Age.