Smith and Storm teammates brace for week - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Smith and Storm teammates brace for week

By Guy Hand 26/04/2010 04:55:20 PM Comments (0)

The strain of being involved in rugby league's version of The Truman Show is starting to show on the Melbourne Storm's players.

The NRL club's embattled playing group kicked off another tough week after their courageous 40-6 non-win over the Warriors on Sunday night, as investigations continue into the salary cap rorting that stunned Australian sport.

Most Storm players avoided yet another scrum of waiting media after their recovery session in Melbourne on Monday.

Some faked conversations on their mobile phones as they walked out of their Princes Park headquarters, others had cars driven up to the players' entrance, almost all the rest said nothing.

Only skipper Cameron Smith was prepared to talk - showing dignity amid the clear and visible strain of being embroiled in one of the biggest scandals in Australian sporting history.

There's more than a hint of The Truman Show about what Smith and his teammates claim is their unwitting role in the club's salary cap shame.

The Jim Carrey film is about a man who discovers his whole life has been a carefully-constructed fake - involving everyone around him - for the benefit of a viewing TV audience.

With their premierships exposed as a sham, all they've worked for in rugby league now starred with an asterisk and their livelihoods in question, Smith admits the coming weeks will be just as hard for he and fellow players to get through as the last few days.

"Obviously it was a great night for the club last night, for all the players, the fans and all our families," Smith said.

"I guess it's one of the better days I've had out of the last four or five.

"I don't how we're going to feel tomorrow when we turn up at training and have to start working hard again to prepare for the weekend.

"But we've just got to get through today and see what happens tomorrow as well."

Smith remained defiant as the NRL continues to insist the Storm's illegally-assembled collection of players will have to disband rather than take the option of pay cuts to stay together.

"The majority of this team's been put together from kids. We've all worked together for a long time to get where we are," Smith said.

"I think I speak on behalf of all the boys - we've got a special bond at this club.

"I don't think it's something I can explain to you guys and I don't think you guys will ever understand, or anyone else will understand, what we have at this club.

"It's not something that we want to give away lightly."

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