They had their concerns but he trained on Friday and then on game day put on a tireless performance in the club’s 40-16 win over Cronulla Sharks.
Bromwich clocked up 215 run metres and in tandem with Nelson Asofa-Solomona (171 run metres) overpowered the Sharks.
Bromwich wasn’t spent at full-time either and he, Asofa-Solomona and the team’s other New Zealand born players and staff performed a haka in Smith’s honour after the team song.
“I was sick all week, I recovered on Friday for captain’s run because there was no way I was missing Smithy’s 400,” Bromwich said.
“With what he has done for myself, my family and for my own journey – he has made me a better player and a better person and I wanted to repay that by having a good game tonight and making sure we won.”
Bromwich admitted he was very unwell in the early days of the week.
“I was sick but it didn’t matter how I felt as I was definitely going to play,” Bromwich said.
“I was pretty sick at the start of the week. I came down with something on Sunday and slept for three days.
“I felt fresh today, ready to go and it’s easy to get up for these milestone games.”
During his years with the Storm Bromwich has always been a pace-setter for the forward pack and consistency but his metres in the Sharks game surprised him.
“It’s a good surprise when that happens but I would have had most of the kick-off runs so they usually take in most of the metres. I just wanted to do my job and make everyone proud.
“When Nelson is running the ball strong it makes all of our jobs easier, he just attracts defenders and when he does that and runs through people it makes my job a hell of a lot easier.”
The Storm have eight games to play and still want to lock in the highest possible finish, starting with Sunday’s clash with the struggling Gold Coast Titans on the Gold Coast.
The Titans parted ways with coach Garth Brennan on Sunday, which will have their side fired up for an upset on Sunday.
“We will slowly start building and developing our combinations towards the end of the year,” Bromwich said.
The Storm are expected to accept an early plea for a dangerous contact charge on prop Christian Welch, which will see him suspended for one game.
The Storm play Gold Coast Titans at CBUS Super Stadium on Sunday at 2pm.
Roy Ward is a Sports writer for The Age.