Cameron Smith says groin “irritation” improving for Melbourne’s Anzac Day clash with New Zealand Warriors


In Smith’s place, half-back Brodie Croft converted all three of the Storm’s tries and kicked a penalty goal.

“There is no issue with running. I played the whole game out and didn’t have any issues getting around the park, there was just an irritation when I kick the footy,” Smith said on Monday.

Storm skipper Cameron Smith has a slight injury niggle.Credit:AAP

“Thankfully Brodie stepped up and kicked pretty well, I may not get the job back, he kicked four from four.

“We still have one more session on Wednesday morning so I’ll have a kick there and if it feels good I’ll be kicking on Thursday.

“It’s more about when I’m having to use the full strength of my leg in a kicking action. It just seems to be in that action of kicking the footy.

“I had one medium [strength] kick and a few short grubbers that didn’t irritate it at all.

“That was a good sign and we came in for recovery on Saturday and it felt better than it did on game day. So I don’t think it will be a big problem for me moving forward.”

Storm utility forward Brandon Smith is also pushing to do all he can to play after his shoulder injury, which club doctors initially feared was serious, didn’t look as bad once he had scans.

Brandon Smith said he feared he had a rotator cuff injury and would need surgery but wasn’t ruling out playing.

“We haven’t got a time on it yet so it’s a lot better than expected,” Brandon Smith said.

“Best case scenario is that I play this week but time will tell, you never know how injuries recover some times.”

Storm's Brandon Smith has a shoulder problem.

Storm’s Brandon Smith has a shoulder problem.Credit:AAP

The Storm saw their undefeated start to the season end in the Roosters game but what frustrates Cameron Smith most was his side allowing their opponents to have 20-0 start before coming back to force extra time.

“It’s all about our preparation this week with the short turnaround, I don’t think we will look a whole heap at the Warriors given there are thing we really need to fix in our own backyard,” Smith said.

“It will be all about the way we want to play this week and the way we want to start. We are well aware what we are up against but we need to look at the areas we are not doing well in and that’s in the first 40 minutes of the game.”

Meanwhile, Smith has suggested an experienced leader takeover the Queensland Origin captaincy from Greg Inglis.

Smith admits he is still coming to grips with Inglis making his decision to retire last week.

Inglis adds to the massive loss of experience Queensland has endured in the past two years with Smith, Billy Slater, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk headlining the departures.

Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans, North Queensland star Michael Morgan, Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster and Sydney Roosters hooker Jake Friend are among those discussed as the next Maroons skipper.

“Greg Inglis played a huge role in building the Melbourne Storm and recreating a successful environment here. After speaking with him briefly last week, I’m still digesting him not being a part of the Origin side,” Smith said.

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“I’d lean towards someone with a bit of experience with the captaincy or a leadership role but I couldn’t throw someone’s name up at the moment as I haven’t thought about it too much.”

While Smith hasn’t looked closely at who could captain his home state, he enthusiastically endorsed the NRL’s decision to reduce how many penalties are called this season.

“From a players point of view I think it’s fantastic, it allows for the game to flow a lot more,” Smith said.

“I’m not too sure what the fans are thinking but I just think that it allows the game to flow more and players get to express their skills a lot more.

“Let the referees get a feel for the match instead of nit picking at every little thing. It has provided for much more entertaining games.”

Roy Ward is a Sports writer for The Age.

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