Nines win­ner’s $400 banana

Auckland City Harbour News - - OUT & ABOUT - STAFF RE­PORTER

NRL Nines win­ner Chris Smith has re­vealed he copped a $400 fine at Auck­land air­port af­ter fail­ing to re­veal to of­fi­cials he had a banana in his back­pack.

The rookie was one of the stars of the week­end as the Roost­ers won the tour­na­ment, but his time in Auck­land didn’t start too well.

Smith said he was wait­ing at the bag­gage carousel when a snif­fer dog ‘‘launched’’ at him.

‘‘I’m stand­ing there with this dog jump­ing all over me, all over me bag, while a cus­toms of­fi­cial says ‘so is there any­thing you want to tell us?’,’’ Smith told the Daily Tele­graph.

‘‘But I’ve got no idea what’s go­ing on. I’m say­ing ‘nah, nah, not at all. It’s all sweet.’’

The 23-year-old said he had for­got­ten he had a banana in his bag and be­came another un­wit­ting vic­tim of New Zealand’s tough pol­icy around food im­ports.

‘‘So they’ve taken me off to this of­fice and al­ready in there is Corey Wad­dell from Pen­rith. He got fined for the very same thing.

‘‘It’s funny, straight af­ter a few of the boys were say­ing to me ‘don’t worry, that’s a good omen for us’. I guess it was too ... both Corey and I played in the fi­nal.’’

Smith col­lected an $8000 bonus for be­ing part of the win­ning team in Auck­land and he wel­comed the pay­day.

‘‘And first thing I’m us­ing that for is my cus­toms fine. That banana al­most sent me broke,’’ he laughed.

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