Smith's high praise for Granville
After his first 80-minute performance of 2017 North Queensland Cowboys hooker Jake Granville has been given a huge wrap by both his teammates and the opposition, namely Storm hooker and the greatest rake of all Cameron Smith.
Granville contributed a try, a line break, two tackle breaks and 39 tackles in a tight performance in the middle against Melbourne last week, and he continuously got the Cowboys forwards on the front foot, as evidenced by the ease with which North Queensland rolled up the field against the Storm.
Smith gave Granville a huge wrap in the post-match press conference, praising the younger hooker's speed and decision making out of dummy-half.
"He's a very good player, Jake, he did a great job for them out there tonight, played long minutes. A lot of their guys are taking some shared responsibility with 'JT' (Johnathan Thurston) not being there… but Jake is a quality player," the Queensland and Australian captain said.
"A split second where you don't watch him or have a bit of a sleep… he's going to make you pay and I think he's a very good number nine and he's doing a great job for them up here."
 Granville Jake - Cowboys
Granville's recent performances have proved just how important he is to the Cowboys, and his fellow forwards have high praise for the hooker's efforts.
"He brings everything to us, obviously a lot of speed out of dummy half, a lot of attacking opportunities and what he does out there he's pretty fit playing in the middle like that to follow the ball around all game," prop Scott Bolton said.
"Cameron Smith would know all about that so to get a wrap off Cameron Smith is a great accomplishment for Jake."
Granville himself is hopeful he will play more full games in 2017, having played around 65 minutes per match previously.
"We'll see what the coaching staff want to do but I felt I handled it alright, there were a few patches there where I was a bit tired and could have stayed a bit more composed with the ball but I was fairly happy with my own game," Granville said.
"The boys gave me a few opportunities to [scoot from dummy-half]. We've got a couple of strong forwards that carry the ball well so if they get a quick play the ball for me I'll be looking to get out."