Nines winner’s $400 banana
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.