Inglis continues on quest to greatness
Greg Inglis may have just won a man-of-the-match award for a dominant two-try display against Samoa, but that didn't stop his skipper suggesting he still had some areas he needs to brush on.
After Australia's 44-18 win over Samoa, Smith praised Inglis' performance but said he needs to work on areas of his fullback play such as talking in defence and helping organise the team – something he said doesn't come naturally to Inglis.
Inglis – who only a few weeks before the tournament was lifting the Telstra Premiership Trophy with his Rabbitohs teammates – appears to have slotted seamlessly into the fullback role left vacant by injured long-term 'Roos custodian Billy Slater (an illness-enforced absence in the opening loss to New Zealand notwithstanding).
A week earlier Inglis topped the metres among all players with 158 against England, and scored a try, before helping set up the opening try against Samoa and scoring another two.
Those three tries in two games have Inglis rocketing up the all-time list of Kangaroos try-scorers. His brace against Samoa moved him to 27 Test tries, past immortal Bob Fulton, who has 25, into outright fourth place.
Inglis now sits just one behind another immortal, Reg Gasnier's 28, although Ken Irvine (33) and outright leader Darren Lockyer (35 tries in 59 Tests) will still take some catching.
But Smith – without mentioning his long-term Storm, Queensland and Australia fullback Slater – praised Inglis' performances without getting carried away.
"He is a fantastic player, everyone knows that, it's hard to keep coming up with new words to describe him and the type of player he is," Smith began.
"He's grown into that role at the back over the three matches. Obviously the first one [against New Zealand] didn't go the way he wanted to with going off at half time but he was good last week [against England] and he was even better today."
But he qualified that with some advice for the Rabbitohs fullback.
"He's still got areas of his game he needs to work on as a fullback. His strength is his running and his ability to get a ball and just turn nothing into something but he still needs to work on his talk in defence and relaying things to the team and getting people to the right spot but he's working on that.
"It's not a natural thing for Greg but again he's a quality player and the big matches and times you need someone to stand up he's always there."
Smith said the side overall has grown in patience since that opening loss – which featured five debutants.
THE KANGAROOS ALL-TIME LEADING TRYSCORERS
35 - Darren Lockyer
33 - Ken Irvine
28 - Reg Gasnier
27 - Greg Inglis
25 - Bob Fulton
23 - Brett Morris
22 - Billy Slater