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Watch Cameron Smith Lead Storm to the Top

I will be hosting a Leadership Boardroom Breakfast in Brisbane on 5 March, 2020. An intimate boardroom setting of 12 will provide a conversational environment to discuss all things leadership, resilience, people management, and the simple keys of high-performance systems in any workplace. Limited seats left.

Contact or RSVP to by 27 Feb to secure your seat.

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Watch Cameron Smith Lead Storm to the Top

Cameron Smith can guide the Storm to another title in 2020. He is the most experienced NRL playmaker and the greatest leader in the game (in my opinion). He will rarely disappoint anyone in a big moment or on the big stage.

The last few seasons has seen Johnathan Thurston, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk, James Maloney, Sam Burgess, and Greg Inglis move on which leaves Smith clearly as the most valuable playmaking and leadership asset in the NRL.

Melbourne weren’t far off last year. It took the premiership-winning Roosters to knock them out in a gripping preliminary final. This was off the back of being outright 2019 minor premiership winners, grand finalists for the 3 years in a row, and 2017 premiers. Not bad form – and the only losses to this list are Curtis Scott and Will Chambers who both struggled at times for selection throughout last season.

One of the biggest things the Storm have going for them is consistency. As a matter of fact, that’s one of Cameron Smiths best qualities. They can maintain a high level of performance for long periods during matches and seasons. They won’t beat themselves and appear near certain to be a top 4 team again come September. Smith knows better than any other player in the NRL how to grind, endure, and ascend at the right time. It’s easy to see the belief and confidence that he has in himself reflect throughout the team. He knows how to navigate his team through the tough and challenging periods that come with an NRL season. When he’s resilient, the team is. And when he leads, they follow suit. He knows how to win the big games. Smith’s last game in 2020 could be the biggest of them all.

Another thing in Melbourne’s favour this season is the lack of improvement from other serious contenders ‘on paper’. The Roosters have lost Cronk and Latrell Mitchell. Sam Burgess is a massive loss to Souths along with John Sutton and George Burgess. The Raiders will have a new halfback following Aiden Seizers departure and have also lost Joey Leilua (his replacement Curtis Scott is in limbo at present) and Jordan Rapana. Outside of last year’s top 4, Parramatta (who have swapped Tepai Moeroa and Manu Ma’u for Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Ryan Matterson) had 40 put on them by the Storm only 5 months ago. It’s difficult to make a case for any other team. Maybe the Cowboys could be the big improvers from outside the 8.

Melbourne still boast 9 members of their 2017 premiership team in their current squad. The starting forward pack, Cameron Munster, Josh Addo-Carr and Suliasi Vunivalu were all part of the clubs most recent success. Munster has matured as a 5/8 and has had a priceless education playing alongside Smith. Jerome Hughes and Ryan Papenhuyzen will be improved from last years’ experience. Smith’s presence alone will be invaluable to this group. The obvious unknown is the centre positions. Marion Save and Justin Olam have both handled their initial time in the NRL well. The Storm coaching staff have been renowned for getting the best out of their players. If there’s going to be a ‘question mark’ anywhere it’s better to have it in the centres than in the forwards or the playmakers. Brisbane won the competition in 2006 with David Staggs and Shaun Berrigan rotating through the centres.

Smith and Coach Craig Bellamy have been together since 2003. They have led Melbourne Storm to 8 grand final appearances and 4 premierships. This season looms as their final opportunity to do something special together. Not only is the captain’s retirement imminent but the coach has suggested he will not seek a contract extension beyond 2021. Add to this the departure of their representative wingers, Addo-Carr and Suliasi Vunivalu, plus boom rookie forward Tino Fa’asuamaleaui at the end of this season. It would be the definition of a fairy-tale finish. Melbourne’s time for another premiership is now. Watch this space.

- Anthony

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