Cameron Smith is accused of scamming Channel Nine while working for Queensland’s Origin team while being paid to commentate
- Smith is assistant coach of the Maroons
- Gave a half-time speech to the Queensland team
- Was a member of the Nine’s Origin panel at the time
Queensland Origin legend Cameron Smith has been accused of not giving Channel Nine value for money after he gave a half-time speech to the Maroons instead of commentating on State of Origin’s opener. the year on Wednesday evening.
While his colleagues dissected the first half of the game, Smith was filmed addressing coach Billy Slater’s team in the locker room as he revived them for what turned out to be a miraculous move by 40 minutes.
The scenes prompted prominent footy pundit Phil Rothfield to question whether the former Storm hooker’s dual roles represented a ‘conflict of interest’.
Smith is pictured giving Queensland a half-time boost – even though he was paid to commentate on Nine on Wednesday night
Smith and Queensland manager Billy Slater (pictured together) are both commentators for Nine, with the pair sharing deep and longstanding ties to the Maroons
“How can you have a man working in the Channel 9 commentary box and coaching the Maroons at the same time?” he writing.
“Surely you can’t double over and do two jobs on the same night.”
Asked on the telecast what he said to the players, Smith explained what he pointed out on the side.
“I was just applauding the team for their effort, especially their goal-line defense in the first half,” he said.
“NSW went a long way and there were a lot of tackles inside the Maroons 20-yard box.
“I was just reiterating what the coaches said just before I arrived.”
Smith’s ties to Slater and the Maroons are longstanding and extremely strong.
While other Nine pundits have worked on Origin matches while working for one of the teams involved – such as NSW assistant coach Andrew Johns – none broke their mid-match commentating duties to help. his team like Smith did.
The pair starred on the pitch for Queensland during their golden NSW winning streak from the early 2000s to 2017, while leading the Melbourne Storm to an incredibly successful streak in the NRL.
Smith was widely branded as the NRL’s in-waiting manager when he retired at the end of the 2020 season and became Queensland assistant manager last year.
While other members of Nine’s commentary team have covered Origin for Nine while involved in training at interstate level – such as NSW assistant Andrew Johns – they have not fulfilled their duties for their team on a show.
Smith’s address obviously hit the right notes as Queensland came from behind 18-16 thanks to late tries at Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Cameron Munster to knock out the winners 26-18 – with those two scores to come as ‘they were a man down Courtesy of Thomas Flegler’s Controversial Sin.