The Courier-Mail

STORM SKIP­PER A PER­FECT SAVIOUR

- Sports · College Sports · Rugby · Denver Broncos · Luke Hodge · Brisbane Lions

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.

 ??  ?? Mel­bourne Storm skip­per Cameron Smith re­mains a tar­get for the Bron­cos. Pic­tures Getty Im­ages
Mel­bourne Storm skip­per Cameron Smith re­mains a tar­get for the Bron­cos. Pic­tures Getty Im­ages
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