MELBOURNE Storm captain Cameron Smith is set to become the most successful player in NRL history.
Smith, 33, is locked on 237 career wins alongside Brisbane legend Darren Lockyer before Saturday night’s game against Penrith.
A Storm victory at AAMI Park would see Smith surpass Lockyer, and teammate Cooper Cronk (213) would eclipse Canterbury great Terry Lamb for third overall.
Smith, who earlier this season became the first forward in league history to score 2000 career first-grade points, and Cronk have played in 190 wins together.
Fullback Billy Slater needs five more wins to become the sixth NRL player to notch 200 wins.
Storm football director Frank Ponissi said it was an “astonishing feat” for the club to have three players in the top 10 for most career wins.
“They’re getting old in rugby league terms, but that is only in age (not) the way they’re playing — they’re not slowing down. They’re still critical players in our success,” Ponissi said.
With Storm trailing West Tigers 14-6 last week, Smith turned the game with a 40/20 in the second half to set up a crucial try.
In Round 3, the skipper slotted the game-winning conversion to deny the Broncos.
Ponissi lauded the trio’s durability — especially goal-kicking hooker Smith.
“He plays a lot in the heaviest part of the field and (as hooker) is also at nearly every single play the ball,” he said.
“He plays right in the middle where they take the most wear and tear … also the amount of tackles he makes in a game and against the biggest players in our game — to do that for that many years, that many games (is incredible).”
Slater will tonight play just his 10th game in three seasons after two shoulder reconstructions.
The fullback, who told the Herald Sun this week his confidence was building with every game, dismissed the ‘Big Three’ moniker, saying the trio should instead be known as the ‘Old Three’.
“It’s always about the team and to be honest, we just want to become the best players we can,” Slater said.
“We’re all different players, I feel we complement each other and we’ve got many players in our side that need to contribute — it’s not a three-man band.”
Originally published as Astonishing record Smith can conquer