Smith admits to Nielsen shock
August 05, 2012 12:23:22 UK
Melbourne captain Cameron Smith said the axing of Origin centre Dane Nielsen ahead of the Storm's clash with Penrith had sent a message to the whole squad.
Cameron Smith backed coach Craig Bellamy's decision to axe Dane Nielsen.
Queensland rep Nielsen had been one of the prominent players promoting the NRL's "Close the Gap Round" in the run-up to the Panthers game. But he was dropped from the team, which had lost its previous five matches, and Smith said the move had been strongly felt.
Coach Craig Bellamy's selection clearly had the right effect, as the Storm ran out 46-6 winners.
"Yeah, I think everyone was put on notice that your spot in the team is not guaranteed, especially when a player of Dane's calibre is left out," Smith said.
"He's a State of Origin player so I think everyone's eyes were opened right up there when Craig made that decision.
Yeah, I think everyone was put on notice that your spot in the team is not guaranteed, especially when a player of Dane's calibre is left out.Cameron Smith
"I think all the boys have the same feeling as Craig, it was a big call to leave him out but today for the right mix for the team against Penrith it was Craig's decision.
"It's up to Dane now to play well this weekend and hopefully we'll see him back pretty soon."
Bellamy said making changes had been necessary to "draw a line in the sand".
He said: "That balance or line between loyalty and actually getting out there and making sure you're doing your job out there, that's a tough thing sometimes.
"It wasn't easy leaving Danger out ... it was probably a tough call to be quite honest, but I just thought it needed doing and it's done.
"I feel for him but at the same time he probably wasn't doing his job as good as we know he's capable of doing it.
"But having said that he wasn't Robinson Crusoe, he wasn't in the boat on his own."
The Storm are 1.80 to win the grand final.
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