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2017 NRL - Grant Trouville © NRL Photos

It's often asked what Cameron Smith means to a team, and it appears the answer has been staring us in the face from the beginning.   

‌Forget about his leadership, service from dummy-half and his raking left boot, because if you rearrange the letters in his name, you get 'storm machine' and that's exactly what he is. 

It's taken a while for someone to work it out, but the frighteningly-accurate anagram was on full display at Suncorp Stadium as the classy skipper helped guide the Maroons to a 22-6 win to wrap up their 11th series in 12 years. 

Smith already holds the record for most Origin appearances and is just two games away from reaching 350 matches for the Melbourne Storm, but there's a school of thought the 34-year-old is playing as well as ever. 

With superstars Johnathan Thurston, Greg Inglis, Darius Boyd and Matt Scott missing, Smith stepped up when it mattered most to deliver one of the best 40-minute performances of his career in the first half to help Queensland to a 12-0 lead that could have been much bigger. 

His darts out of dummy-half caught the Blues by surprise while his passing options were supreme. Such was his impact that he was on track for rugby league's equivalent of baseball's perfect game until he dummied to two unmarked men to cost Queensland a certain try just before half-time. 

In the end it didn't really matter as Valentine Holmes's hat-trick got the Maroons over the line, and his decision not to pass is unlikely to feature in the annals of history. 

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What will stand the test of time is the way he responded to Queensland coach Kevin Walters's challenge to run the ball more after failing to do so in the first two games.  

In Game One, Smith had more missed tackles (seven) than he did running metres (four). Those numbers improved in Origin II where he ran for 36 metres, but those figures were obliterated in the decider when he carried the ball for 105 metres – the second most by a starting Queensland forward. 

Wednesday night's heroics shouldn't have been a surprise to the Blues given Smith publicly declared he would challenge the line, but instead of accepting all the plaudits, the skipper quickly deflected praise to his big men for laying the platform. 

"Kevvie spoke to me before the side was selected and then every day at training he told me that I needed to get out and run," Smith told Channel Nine after the game.

"Fortunately, the rest of the boys gave me some opportunities tonight to get out there. They fought really hard through the middle and in the play the ball to generate some speed for me and I was lucky enough to have some darts and try to get the boys on the front foot. 

"I didn't feel I was playing poorly in the first two games, I just wanted to give a little bit more to the team in offense. I was just glad that I could get my role done for the team."

While there's every chance Smith will continue to dominate the representative scene for a few more years, there was a not-so-subtle coming of age for Storm teammate Cameron Munster who set up both second-half tries to seal the win in his Origin debut. 

And if his name is anything to go by, Cameron Munster - or 'storm menace run' – is also headed for greatness.

This article originally appeared on

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