STORM SKIPPER A PERFECT SAVIOUR
and Smith would be seen as a cultural chief as much as anything, playing the player-mentor-type role Luke Hodge performed so well at the Brisbane Lions. Hodge’s recruitment was seen as a pivotal moment in turning around the club’s culture. Rarely has a club needed a senior professional more than Brisbane, who have lost 10 of their past 11 games.
Smith’s possible recruitment could shape the future of the club’s former long-serving hooker Andrew McCullough, who was in strong form for Newcastle before requiring hamstring surgery which ended his season. McCullough (pictured) is contracted to Brisbane for next season but has settled in so well at Newcastle, the Knights may be keen for him to stay.
McCullough left the Broncos without major fanfare but the club has missed the steel he adds to the defence, which was sadly lacking in a season where the Broncos are on course to concede more points per game than any in their history.
The 30.8 points conceded per game this season is on track to be easily the club’s worst – the previous “record” being 24 per game in 2009.
Their 13.6 points scored per game is also their fewest – and the seventh worst in the 23year history of the NRL.