Cameron Smith cops his fair share of criticism for his actions on the field, but this was all class.
Amid devastating scenes as Canberra hooker Josh Hodgson went down with what appears to be a serious knee injury, his Melbourne Storm counterpart showed his class.
Hodgson went down clutching his knee as he attempted to tackle Smith on Saturday night, with fears he might be out for the season.
As Hodgson lay on the field under attention of trainers, Smith checked to make sure his opposite number was alright.
Fans noticed Smith’s actions and were quick to praise the NRL champion.
Kudos to Cameron Smith for seeing how Hodgson is going. #NRLRaidersStorm— Sham (@Sham67622298) July 11, 2020
Raiders fan here. The ref was hopeless tonight and so was the bunker. But as soon as Josh Hodgson went down, Cam Smith was there with him and genuinely concerned. Yes, he drives me nuts at times, but he doesn’t deserve the hate pile-on.— Jazzagal (@ngeecee) July 11, 2020
Canberra’s injury crisis hits new depths
Ricky Stuart says he's never faced an injury crisis like Canberra’s current one after Hodgson went down in their controversial 20-14 loss to Melbourne.
Hodgson's NRL season is likely over after he suffered a probably ACL tear in the first half of the loss, becoming the fifth Raiders' forward injured long-term.
It added to a rough night for the Raiders, with Stuart angry over a controversial sin-binning that appeared to dud the hosts at GIO Stadium.
With scores level at 6-6 and 13 minutes to play in the first half, Hodgson went down on his right knee as he changed direction.
In the same set, Bailey Simonsson was ruled by the bunker to have taken Josh Addo-Carr out while chasing a grubber near the tryline.
The Raiders’ winger appeared to have eyes only for the ball and, from the next set, Melbourne made the Raiders pay as Addo-Carr scored on Simonssen's vacant wing.
“We should never have been a man down, there is no way in the world he should have been sent to the sin-bin,” Stuart said.
“I don't want to make a big issue of it, but I don't understand how we use all this technology and money and we still get it wrong.
“They got it wrong, it's as simple as that. Like they did in the Manly game (last week). But they will be back in the box next week.”
Adding insult to injury, Simonssen later left the field with a shoulder problem and faces a stint on the sideline.
But his absence will not hurt the Raiders as much as Hodgson’s.
After releasing three forwards before the competition’s restart, Canberra have now seen Sia Soliola, Emre Guler and Corey Horsburgh go down in the past fortnight.
John Bateman is also still a long way off returning from a shoulder injury, while Siliva Havili or Tom Starling will likely now play out the year at dummy-half.
“I haven't had (an injury hole like this) one,” Stuart said.
“I just asked them after the game to keep turning up with that same attitude and desire and competitiveness.”