Justin Hodges says it's clear to see the influence Cameron Smith has over his teammates.

Hodges: Secret to Smith's greatness

I'm not sure exactly when it started – he certainly wasn't this way when he first came into Origin – but if there was one thing you could be sure about Cameron Smith was that he would always be the last one on the team bus.

I'm pretty sure that he gets dressed and just sits in his room and waits because if the bus is supposed to leave at 5.30 he'll start walking down from his hotel room at 5.30.

If you're a young player you don't even dare come out late for the bus but everyone knows that's just Smithy. That's just the way he prepares for games or training; he just likes to be the last one on the bus.

At first we used to give it to him and carry on but now everyone just rolls their eyes and makes a bit of a joke about it.

He and Johnathan Thurston are always the last off the training field and last on the bus to the point now where it is part of the routine of a Maroons camp. You know that they're working on their game and doing the extras they need to be the great players that they are. You didn't care too much if they were late because you knew they were working on their game which will make us a lot better as a team.

 


Stats don't show the contribution Cameron Smith makes in a game of footy but there's no question he is among the five greatest players I ever played with or against during my career.

The fact that he has now won a record 238 NRL games with the Storm is testament to not only his ability as a footballer but also the influence he has on those players around him with his leadership and his composure.

The way he talks to his teammates keeps them calm and relaxed and his footy brain is among the best the game has ever known.

He knows when to kick a 40/20 or when to kick it out and give his team a breather. He just has this unique game sense that allows him to put the right plays on at the right time pretty much every time.

When he first came into the Queensland Origin squad in 2003 he quietly went about his business and his willingness to learn was one of his greatest assets. Being coached at the Storm by someone such as Craig Bellamy and being around guys such as Darren Lockyer and Andrew Johns in the rep arena at such a young age allowed him to learn some great habits that he has carried throughout his career.

As his role has grown with the Queensland team over the years you can see the influence he has on the other players in the team. He'll talk to the younger blokes, he'll make sure that the boys are happy and acts as the voice for the players if they need anything extra and he's such a knock-around guy that after training he'll just sit around and have a laugh and play the PlayStation.

That's just Smithy.

Final thought

I've got a really high opinion of Kieran Foran as a player and it was great to see him have such a positive impact in his first game for the Warriors on Sunday. Kieran's composure is exactly what that Warriors team needs and it was no surprise to see Shaun Johnson have one of his better games in a while with Kieran helping to steer the ship at five-eighth. The Warriors can sometimes look like they're panicking when they get into 'good ball' areas but Kieran will slow them down and give them the structure that they need in attack. They only just beat a Titans team decimated by injuries but you hope that first win with Kieran in the team gives them the confidence to go on and string a few together. Let's see how they back it up this week against the Eels.