Melbourne Storm skipper Cameron Smith says to come from 20 points behind to beat Manly at Brookvale rates as one of the best comebacks he's been involved in across his long and distinguished career.
The Storm fell behind 20-nil in a disastrous first half of their Round 1 clash against the Sea Eagles before going to the break 20-4 having finally crossed for late try. But with the momentum reversed the Storm bossed a second half where Manly could only add one penalty goal and the game went to golden point at 22-all – with a Smith field goal eventually deciding proceedings.
"Given the location, given the ground that we're playing at, it's hard to peg back six or eight points usually against these blokes, let alone 20," Smith said after the game.
"We weren't doing a whole lot wrong when we had the ball in the first half, we just didn't have it. We got our fair share in the second half, we applied some pressure to Manly and we got rewarded for it."
Smith said it was "one of the best comebacks in my whole career".
"To come back from 20 points down at this ground, it's pretty special effort by the boys. I don't know a whole lot of teams that would have done what we did tonight so I'm just very proud of the effort that we showed in the second half and the character to stay in the game.
"We could have quite easily just said 'they're too good for us tonight' but we hung in there and came up with the goods."
The Storm No.9 also confirmed the match-winning field goal was his first one-pointer since his junior days.
"It was the first field goal I've kicked since under-16s actually, back at Logan Brothers, so it's been a while between drinks for me," he admitted.
Meanwhile his coach Craig Bellamy laughed that if he'd realised that he may have instructed the side to go with a different game plan in golden point.
"I had no idea he hasn't kicked one before, I probably would have made a different decision if I'd known. Benny Roberts, he had a shot at one stage, it would have been him or Benny Hampton," Bellamy said.
"Or myself!" interrupted former Manly prop George Rose, sitting at Bellamy's left, eliciting laughter from both captain and coach.