Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy has revealed how Cameron Smith was hesitant about starting at halfback, saying the legendary hooker was “a little bit nervous”.
Smith, who has made the No.9 position his own throughout his illustrious career, started in the halves in the absence of Origin star Cameron Munster and was vital in his side’s thrilling 27-25 victory.
Speaking after the win, Bellamy explained how the side landed on the decision to start Smith in the halfback position as opposed to his normal hooker role.
“He wasn’t overly keen on it, I must say. This sounds a little bit surprising, but I think he was a little bit nervous about doing it,” he told Nine’s Macca’s Golden Point.
“He said, ‘If you think that’s best for the team, let’s go with it’.
“We didn’t really decide until yesterday who we were going to put (in the halfback position).
“Cameron had a little bit of practice there last week with half a game after Munster came off, so thought with that bit of practice he had, that was the right way to go.”
Following the game, Smith explained how the decision was entirely made by Bellamy, not himself.
“That was the coach. I needed some convincing,” Smith told Fox League of the halfback switch.
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“It was a short turnaround, we had a meeting and he said you guys (the players) go and discuss it, we’ll make a decision in the morning and we’ll move forward with the week.
“We woke up, got to training and he said ‘mate you’re playing in the halves’, there was no discussion at all.
“I went out there, did a couple of sets. It was hard but we got on with it. Ryley Jacks and myself shared during the week.
“It came off tonight. All I wanted to do was get my hands on the footy, get Kenny Bromwich some ball early and try to push us forward.
“Bit of a difficult one for us with Cameron Munster out but hopefully he’s only one or two games away.”
Bellamy’s side operated with a three-man rotation through the halves, with Ryley Jacks and Brandon Smith also sharing duties, and despite the win, the coach said there was room for improvement.
“I’m not quite sure it worked like we wanted it to work, but the three of them did a fair job,” he said.
“It’s not easy when you move your dummy-half and in another guy in the halves on.
“We’ll have a look at it this week and talk to the players and the coaches to see what we all think and go from there.”