Smith tops table as NRL's most successful player

Storm skipper Cameron Smith (right) looks for the offload during the Round 5 clash against Penrith in Melbourne on Saturday night.
Storm skipper Cameron Smith (right) looks for the offload during the Round 5 clash against Penrith in Melbourne on Saturday night. JULIAN SMITH

NRL: Very few players lace their boots up for 238 NRL games.

After another leading hand on Saturday night, Cameron Smith incredibly chalked up the 238th win of his first-grade career, giving him the most first-grade wins in history.

The Storm are now the only undefeated team in the competition after their super impressive 28-6 victory over the Panthers.

If they can maintain their form, they're every chance of chalking up a 20-win season, potentially pushing Smith well past the 250-win mark.

It's a stunning statistic and given his track record for avoiding long-term injuries as well as his seemingly ageless capacity to perform at the top level, Smith could conceivably push past the 300-win mark before the curtain comes down on a career that gets more remarkable by the day.

To put that in perspective only 26 players have played 300 NRL games or more.

Smith sits fifth on that list with 340, putting him just 15 games behind the man that tops it, Darren Lockyer.

In that category as well, Smith is on track to surpass the man he replaced as captain of Queensland and Australia before this season is finished.

All remarkable feats that had the usually understated Craig Bellamy waxing lyrical about his captain -as well as the other two members of his big three - in the post-match press conference.

"I see it as a real special night with Cameron winning more NRL games than any other player in the history of the game," Bellamy said.

"That's a pretty big thing I reckon. And Cooper (Cronk) went past Terry Lamb tonight (in the same category) and Terry Lamb was one of the best club players I've ever seen.

"And Billy (Slater), after missing two years, he's in the top 10 as well. It was a really big night for our club and I was really proud of the way they performed.

"I just feel real proud and very thankful that I've been involved with these three blokes. It hasn't got a whole heap of publicity what Cameron's done tonight, but it's a pretty special occasion."

Sitting beside his long-time coach, Smith was humbled by the words as well as the numbers that he's racked up over the last 17 years.

"You don't really think about milestones or records too much, you focus on your job each week," Smith said.

"I didn't know until last week when we beat the Wests Tigers and someone mentioned to me that I'd equalled Locky's winning record so I think it's a special night for our footy club.

"We've only been around for 20 years and we've got three players in the top 10 for most wins ever.

"The competition's 110 years old, there's a few clubs that are 110 years old and we've got the most players in the top 10. It's a pretty special effort for our organisation.

"For me, it's a nice milestone to achieve and a nice record to have but I'm just very thankful that I've been a part of a special footy club around some wonderful people, obviously I've been coached by Craig for pretty much my entire career and playing alongside some of the greatest players who have played our game. They've all contributed to that record.

"That number sits beside my name but I couldn't have done that without Craig, the coaching staff that have been here throughout my career, all my teammates and of course my family as well.

"But it's a pretty significant milestone to achieve for our club."

Topics:  cameron smith craig bellamy darren lockyer melbourne storm nrl penrith panthers rugby league

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