Herald Sun

Smith plans peace talks with McKin­non over story

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CAMERON Smith says he is pre­par­ing to put the Alex McKin­non saga to bed once and for all.

Smith has con­firmed he will meet McKin­non face to face in the com­ing days to rec­on­cile their dif­fer­ences.

McKin­non lev­elled heavy crit­i­cism at the Mel­bourne Storm skip­per dur­ing a 60 Min­utes in­ter­view for his on-field ac­tions in the af­ter­math of a tackle that left the New­cas­tle for­ward in a wheel­chair.

McKin­non also ac­cused Smith of fail­ing to make con­tact in the 15 months since.

The Mel­bourne, Queens­land and Aus­tralian cap­tain was not given a right of re­ply on the pro­gram and has re­fused to com­ment pub­licly on the saga.

He has said he would mend fences with McKin­non pri- vately and on Wed­nes­day re­vealed he hoped to meet him soon. Smith told Fox Sports’ Sterlo pro­gram he thought the process was about to be­gin.

“Clearly, I’d like to speak to Alex and I be­lieve he’d like to speak to me as well,” he said.

“I think it’s best for both he and I that we get it done very soon.”

The McKin­non in­ter­view aired three days be­fore last week’s State of Ori­gin de­cider and Smith went into the game un­der a moun­tain of scru­tiny.

He re­sponded em­phat­i­cally, lead­ing Queens­land to a record 52-6 win over NSW at Sun­corp Sta­dium to seal the se­ries.

Ma­roons and Bris­bane back-rower Corey Parker de­scribed Smith’s lead­er­ship in the lead-up as ex­em­plary un­der enor­mous pres­sure.

“He made sure that his play­ers were first and he did that by way of just grab­bing the guys, let­ting us know that he was OK first and fore­most and for us to con­cen­trate on our jobs and make sure we pre­pared the best way we could,” Parker said.

“I’ve got no doubt there would have been some in­flu­ences or ex­ter­nal pres­sure on him off the back of that story.”

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