Smith has played hooker for New Zealand and now the Maori but is stuck behind NRL great Cameron Smith at the Storm, relegating him to bench utility duties.
However, Maori co-captain Adam Blair believed Smith may just have kick-started a season where the 23-year-old makes a name for himself thanks to his All Stars heroics.
“He is a different character. He is unique the way he plays,” Blair said of Smith, who won the 2019 Best Interchange Player Dally M award.
“The passion that we played with, it rubbed off on everyone and especially him in key moments of the game.
“You need someone like that to bring that energy, to show that strength that is within – he was hectic.”
Smith finished with 175m from 13 runs, five tackle busts and four line breaks in a display Cameron Smith would have been proud of at Cbus Super Stadium.
He also broke Indigenous hearts with his solo tries in the 69th and 75th minutes – and it could have been worse.
Smith was denied a third try under the posts in the 74th minute.
No wonder Indigenous captain Joel Thompson was happy to see the back of him.
“I don’t want to see him again,” Thompson laughed.
“We spoke about [stopping] him [before the game] but he is a little tank.”