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Smith happy to get the Noddy at halfback

By Ben Horne 29/08/2010 02:18:46 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla halfback Tim Smith says he wasn't concerned by attempts to lure Brett Kimmorley back to the NRL club, revealing his determination to return to his best at halfback for the Sharks next season.

Smith was lauded as the new 'Peter Sterling' back in 2005 when he burst onto the scene for Parramatta as the Dally M rookie of the year.

But after a rocky period in his personal life and a couple of seasons out of the NRL, the talented No.7 is being driven by an ambition to finally realise his potential.

After linking with the Sharks mid-season, Smith has struggled behind a battling side, but enjoyed his best game for the club on Saturday night in Cronulla's 30-16 win over the Gold Coast.

The highlight was a brilliant kick behind the line for himself, which he regathered and scored.

Smith also ran the ball to the line more and seemed to regain some confidence.

With Kimmorley announcing his retirement mid-week, Smith now knows that the halfback spot is his and he has a chance to form an exciting new partnership with another promising youngster, Wade Graham, next season.

"I wasn't too worried (about Kimmorley) to be honest. I was going to be playing no matter what so it didn't bother me," Smith told AAP.

"It didn't happen, so I've just got to go out and play footy and hopefully that's what happens.

"I want to get back to where I was and if I can keep working on the little things hopefully it will come.

"It was a little bit better (against Titans). It was better than the last few weeks anyway. I've just got to keep improving a few things."

Smith said 2010 had been a cleansing time for him on and off the field.

"I've had a great year I've really enjoyed myself on and off the field.

"Obviously we haven't done that well but I've really enjoyed myself and I'm really looking forward to next year.

"This last game I've just really got to try and cement that spot.

"We've got a few young blokes running around here so I'll do the best I can in the pre-season and see how I go."

Cronulla captain Paul Gallen said his team was inspired to beat the high-flying Titans by the lack of media attention on retiring veterans Trent Barrett and Luke Covell during the week.

Gallen was disappointed that all the attention was on Greg Bird's return to Cronulla and not on the final home games for two of the club's great servants.

"It wasn't about Birdy, it was about our players and that was something that pumped us up before the game that Cov and Barrett barely got a mention," Gallen said.

"It pumped us up and we got the win in the end.

"We didn't want to get caught up in that. Birdy's a good mate of mine and it's good to see him come back here and play well and it's good for us to get the win for Cov and Baz."

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