Weidler Article on the Brandon Smith Departure in the Age

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Itzbek the Purple
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SportNRLNRL 2022
OPINION
Why Roosters-bound Brandon Smith is on the nose with Craig Bellamy

Danny Weidler
Sport columnist
September 18, 2022 — 5.30am



Brandon Smith is a few weeks away from officially becoming a Rooster, but his exit from Melbourne could not come fast enough for both parties.

The man known as “Cheese” is already adjusting his attitude, telling those close to him he knows he needs to lose the blond hair or he will be offside with Roosters chairman Nick Politis from the start.

There may be denials, but Smith had worn out his welcome in Melbourne, to the point where Storm coach Craig Bellamy didn’t even mention his name when paying tribute to departing players during his final media conference of the year following the loss to the Raiders in round one of the finals.

Smith – a New Zealand international and the man once tipped to take over Cameron Smith’s famous No.9 jersey for the long term – was grouped with the “others” leaving the club. Bellamy talked about the departing Felise Kaufusi and heaped praise on the Bromwich brothers, Jesse and Kenny. Smith – arguably the club’s biggest star after Cameron Munster – didn’t rate a mention.

Bellamy has not been keeping it to himself that he was less than thrilled with Smith this season. It began with the white-powder incident following last year’s grand final, moved to the next level after Smith’s swearing and declarations about what a great club the Roosters were on a podcast, stepped up again with his interrupting of teammates’ interviews with questionable language, and came to a head after he called referee Adam Gee a cheat and was banned for three games as a result.

Smith’s day-to-day approach left many at the club unimpressed, so it’s no wonder Bellamy – a stickler for discipline and a lover of players with a team-first attitude – had had enough. In his post-match press conference, hidden among his praise for the Bromwich boys, was a clear message.



“They’ve done unbelievable stuff for this club,” he said. “Especially as they’ve got a bit older as well. You know, they’ve been our leaders this year and it’s not an easy job taking over from guys like Cameron Smith and Cooper [Cronk] and Billy [Slater]. Those sort of guys, the club’s always been their No.1 priority, not themselves, and I think that’s, that’s probably the No.1 trait when you’re looking for leaders.”

Clearly, Smith was not held in that regard by Bellamy.

The Roosters have made a significant investment in Smith. They let grand final winner Sam Verrills go as they guaranteed Smith the hooking role. It’s a gamble on and off the field but, at his best, there is no one more damaging than Smith. It’s going to be a wild ride though.
TC
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Not a fan of Dunny Widdler at all.
His agenda driven tripe, fawning apologism for Mundine - in fact for all of Khoder Nasser's stable of players - relentless anti-Storm bias, and ongoing almost slanderous attacks on Cameron Smith have made me view him with nothing short of contempt.

However on this occasion I think he's on the money.
We must all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately
glennb
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I am not a fan either, but I read his column every week. Since Cameron Smith retired he hardly write about Melbourne Storm, if ever. He really does have an agenda, just like Paul Kent. If you are wearing purple lets bag them.
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I’m not really a fan of Weidler either (I’ve met him too while I was working in sports media a few years back during one of the Storm’s GFs) but I think he might be kind of on the ball here.

I’m not sure the Roosters is going to be the best move for him given the media attention around the team and being in the rugby league hub but who knows?

Definitely shows the Storm were right to prioritise signing Grant though.
Shuttlesworth99
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If he hadn’t signed for a direct rival I reckon the club would have said piss off before round one after what he pulled
blazza18
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Bellamy loves those older guys way too much. He's probably (and rightfully for many reasons) peeved off with Brandon and didn't bother talking about him because he didn't view him a leader of the club anymore.
Itzbek the Purple
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It may be interesting if they give Smith microphone time at the awards night.
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