Cameron Smith was reportedly angered at Ricky Stuart and his coach Craig Bellamy after he believed the Raiders coach leaked news that the Storm skipper’s wife, Barb, had received a $15,000 ring from the NRL
News emerged last year that Barb had been given a diamond ring by the NRL to commemorate Smith’s 400th NRL game.
However, that gift wasn’t declared by the game’s then CEO Todd Greenberg amid a plethora of celebratory presents handed to the former Australian captain.
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Smith, however, believed it was Stuart who leaked the story to The Daily Telegraph journalist and NRL360 co-host Paul Kent prior the Canberra’s visit to Melbourne.
When the Raiders beat the Storm at AAMI Park late last season, Bellamy and Smith shared a beer after the game.
The two have a longstanding friendship, but Kent suggested on NRL360 that with the leak over the ring fresh in his mind, Smith felt a sense of betrayal from his long-term coach.
Speaking on NRL360, Kent said Stuart wasn’t the source of the leak and that Smith was fuming over the news.
“[About] the blue with Cameron and Craig, why now? I know the conspiracy theory out of Melbourne is you’re trying to unsettle them,” Kent said.
“The fact is it’s relevant, the story is that I wrote the ring story about Cameron and Cameron was of the belief that Ricky Stuart for whatever reason told me so I ran it the day before Canberra and Melbourne played.
“It was [claimed the story was] deliberately set up to unsettle them – which is complete garbage.
“After the game Ricky Stuart went in to have a beer with Craig.
“Cameron got upset, because he felt it was disloyal by Craig to be having a beer with Ricky when he believed Ricky was the one behind it, which categorically that’s not the case.
“The story was relevant, every time Ricky and Craig come up against each other we all write about their friendship because they’re great mates.”
Kent revealed that Smith was unhappy with Bellamy and that it put a serious strain on their friendship.
However, the pair have now patched things up since the gifting of the ring late last season.
“I believe it’s all sorted, but first Craig wasn’t aware of it,” Kent added.
“It was told to me that at one point it really threatened to tear them apart. That’s the first real rift in their friendship in over 18 years. They’ve sorted it out, they’re grown-ups.”