A moment to savour for Mr.350
It was the perfect afternoon for a man to whom perfection seems to come naturally.
Cameron Smith was inducted in style into the 350-game club on Sunday as he provided four try assists in a dominant 40-6 Storm win over rivals Manly.
As he ran out for his milestone, Smith entered through a guard of honour formed by the Melbourne Old Boys.
Once he made it through that it was a hug from mum, hand shake from dad before a sprint through the banner with his three children.
For a man who has accomplished just about everything the game of rugby league has had to offer, even he admits to taking a moment to appreciate what was unfolding around him.
“Running out with my children was special,” Smith said.
“I just took a moment there before kick-off just to look around and soak up the atmosphere.
“It is really hard to take in the whole week and the milestone of 350 games because my job is to go out and play and do the job for my teammates. It was nice that we put in a strong performance and ended up getting a pretty good win against quality opposition.
“It's been a fantastic week for myself, to celebrate the 350th with a victory today but it is back to business as usual tomorrow.”
What most of us who sit the stands and watch him every week will never quite understand, how on Earth someone can play 350 games at the highest level?
Smith has fronted up year after year (15 of them in fact) and week after week to represent the purple pride at the level that very few, if any, have before him.
To reach such a significant milestone does not happen by chance.
The man himself does not even know the exact formula, his answer typically simple and humble when asked how he was able to get there.
“There is no really secret to it, I have just tried to work extremely hard on the trailing paddock to make sure that one, I am fit and two, that I am mentally prepared for hard work,” Smith said.
“That has been something that I have tried to put a fair bit of pride into, is my resilience. It is something that Craig has brought, not only to myself but to this Club when he joined it in 2003.
“I think that is a huge part of why I have been able to achieve 350 games.”