So this was posted by Danny Weidler today ...
It was a public blow-up between husband and wife that happened in front of teammates, the media and those baking in the hot Fiji sun at the Kangaroos’ swanky resort last year during the World Cup.
Barb Smith ripped into Cameron. I was within earshot and my cameraman and I were gobsmacked by the ferocity of it. It may have been a couple having a moment but, by this point, the couple were already having issues with teammates and their wives.
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga had been seeking a family-friendly trip to Fiji, but it was made difficult when ‘‘family feud’’ was being played out in front of his players.
The Smiths’ problems with the Slaters began when Barb and Nicole Slater, the wife of Billy, fell out. Cameron’s relationship with Cooper Cronk was already cooling by this point. More on that later.
Barb Smith speaks her mind and has been known to contact Storm officials to make sure that the wives and girlfriends of players are being treated well. There are even suggestions she would meet with Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy. Barb was already dealing with stories being circulated about her husband during the World Cup. The majority of them were wrong.
But Cameron has been under pressure for years. It culminated in his snap decision to quit Origin three weeks before the series was about to start. That caught Queensland on the hop.
The eroding of Cameron’s status in the game has been a slow process. It began on the field when he argued with referees while Alex McKinnon lay severely injured with what turned out to be fractured vertebrae in his neck. Smith totally misread the situation. It says something about Smith that it was McKinnon who eventually called him to clear the air about the bad blood between them.
The fact that Smith is offside with two of his best mates, Cronk and Slater, is the public manifestation of issues that have been masked by his status as one of the best players of his generation.
It is clear what caused the relationship breakdowns. With Slater, it started with a falling-out between their wives. Slater tried to put that to one side when he heard Smith was going through a rough patch away from football. Slater was shut out to the point where the pair have a professional relationship, but no longer a personal one.
The falling-out between Smith and Cronk is largely professional, which has been made personal by Smith’s failure to attend Cronk’s wedding. A lack of communication was critical in that situation. Cronk’s crime in Smith’s eyes was that he went to a rival club, Sydney Roosters. After 15 seasons of spilling blood for Melbourne, Cronk should be allowed to play wherever he likes. But Smith took it personally – to such an extent that he made a play on behalf of the Storm for Mitchell Pearce, the man Cronk was to play alongside.
It’s something he was entitled to do, but also an extraordinary move.
Smith’s strained relationships don’t stop with Slater and Cronk; they extend to other powerful figures at the Storm.
I tried to contact Smith for comment to talk about Slater and Cronk, but he did not respond.
Now I know this piece was written by the scum of all “journalists” who makes dozens of unsubstantiated claims throughout this dribble and then contradicts them all by stating he contacted Smith for comment and was ignored, but somehow he has enough insight to read Smiths mind and know key thoughts of his that have never been made public. I don’t know why this got to me so much but this is one of the most inflammatory articles I can recall being written about our club. After a great win it’s another case of Sydney Media trying to derail our season and it’s pathetic, there are also quotes under a picture of Slater calling him a game-changer, so much that the NRL has to change the rules of the code to suit him ... I mean this is just ridiculous from Weidler and to be honest I’ve never been so angry at an anti-storm article in all my years supporting this fine club, has he overstepped the mark here? I feel like these days newspapers have turned into new idea or tabloids where lies can be spread as fact with no repurcussions, this is a damning article and I imagine not too many people in the Storm organisation will be pleased to read it, what’s your thoughts on it guys, am I over reacting?