SKY’S THE LIMIT FOR HIGH JUMPER
ONE of the most challenging weeks of Cameron Smith’s career has led Queensland to rally around their captain ahead of tomorrow night’s State of Origin decider in Brisbane.
Reeling from Alex McKinnon’s scathing criticism in the Nine Network’s
Minutes program, Smith is also believed to be frustrated he had not been given a right of reply.
Ex- Newcastle forward McKinnon was upset over on- field comments Melbourne’s Smith made following the tackle that left him paralysed in March last year.
McKinnon told the program he believed Smith had implied that the Knights forward had been somewhat to blame for the spinal injury he suffered in a three- man tackle. Smith’s manage- ment confirmed yesterday that neither the skipper nor his NRL club Melbourne were asked to appear on the hour- long 60 Minutes feature.
McKinnon’s claims capped an emotional week for Smith.
He had paid his respects at Queensland Cup player James Ackerman’s funeral on the Sunshine Coast last Wednesday. Two days later he joined the tributes for late Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh, an old friend of Smith’s NRL club Melbourne.
Now it is Smith looking for support in the days ahead of an Origin decider.
Maroons backrower Corey Parker admitted his skipper had been hit hard by McKinnon’s allegations.
TOWNSVILLE teenager Brenton Foster is putting injury concerns behind him as he counts down to next week’s World Youth Championships for track and field in Colombia. The 17year- old is carrying an ankle problem after recovering from a quadriceps tear in May but is confident of improving on his personal best on the international stage. REPORT: page 35
Picture: WESLEY MONTS